The NZDF will never clear its name – and neither will Bill English

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, April 3rd, 2017 - 154 comments
Categories: accountability, afghanistan, bill english, journalism, war - Tags: , , ,

It’s likely that some time this week Bill English will announce that there will be no inquiry into operation Burnham. That’s a pity, because it means that the NZDF will never clear its name. The odds of Hager and Stephenson being wrong on the substance of Hit and Run are low, and if they were wrong the NZDF would be in a hurry to prove it. They aren’t. Avoiding an inquiry is what you do when you have something to hide. (See this rigorously detailed piece by Selwyn Manning on Kiwipolitico for the many inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the NZDF’s various statements.)

How can the NZDF possibly “clear its name” if Hit and Run is correct? By fronting up to any mistakes that were made, by apologising and taking whatever action is possible to acknowledge and compensate the villagers. That would be the decent thing to do, and the force would be strengthened by it, not weakened.

In an excellent weekend piece Audrey Young makes many points that Bill English would do well to consider:

SAS inquiry would signal a new era of civilian scrutiny of NZDF

The Government will be missing a golden opportunity when, as is likely next week, it rules out an inquiry into the 2010 New Zealand Defence Force raid on two villages in Afghanistan.

It will be putting short-term political interests ahead of more important longer term interests, including its own.

An inquiry would almost certainly come down somewhere between potential “war crimes” as suggested by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson in their book, Hit and Run, and that of “exemplary” behaviour by New Zealand forces as characterised by the Chief of Defence Force, Lt General Tim Keating. At the very least it would find some regrettable errors.

It is certainly in NZDF’s own interests to have an inquiry. Future NZDF operations rest on the confidence in which the New Zealand public has in them. That confidence is not unconditional and it has not been enhanced by either the accusations by the authors or Keating’s handling of them.

An inquiry which Defence welcomed and fully co-operated with could not lessen that confidence and could enhance it, if its mistakes are owned.

Public confidence in overseas deployments is not the only consideration but it is a vital one.

The public deserves to know what happened rather than be bystanders in the current public relations war over the book.

The Government and Defence believe that Hager and Stephenson’s error over the co-ordinates of the village location has completely undermined their claims.

It has not. Keating, after blasting the authors for getting the location wrong, got the right location of the raid but the name of the village wrong. Despite his insistence that two villages 2km away from the raid were Naik and Khak Khuday Dad, they were actually Beidak and Khakandy. Both the authors and Keating were wrong about something.

But actually what NZDF probably fears most is civilian scrutiny and the possibility that it could become normalised. And in that respect, the Government has ignored its own interests in denying an inquiry.

NZDF and the SAS in particular should be subject to more robust civilian and parliamentary scrutiny – perhaps even by the statutory intelligence and security committee. An inquiry into the raids would be a good start for a new era of scrutiny.

That’s a strong and important argument, and when Bill English ignores it and announces “no enquiry” he will have missed an important opportunity. Instead he will have forever tied himself to the perception of a shabby coverup.

Update: And there it is – no inquiry.

154 comments on “The NZDF will never clear its name – and neither will Bill English ”

  1. Cinny 1

    I’m expecting some serious questions to be raised in the house tomorrow.

    The outgoing PM should welcome an independent inquiry, his excuses do naught to clear up the situation. In fact all he is doing is creating a lack of trust within the voting public, a lack of trust towards the NZDF and the Government.

    It appears to me that Bill thinks he knows best and bugger the rest of them, a trait we see frequently in his peers, like Smith and Brownlee.
    The public do not like being treated like children.

    This could well be one of the issues that costs them the election.

    • Sam C 1.1

      I think most New Zealanders see Hager and Stephenson for what they really are – manipulative, self-indulgent ratbags.

      If the story was cross referenced, fact checked and it were “actually impossible” that anything Hager said was wrong, why have elements of the book been proven to be wrong at even a cursory level? And why have Hager and Stephenson gone to ground?

      [lprent: You are required to prove that last assertion. Making a false news assertion on this site isn’t something that we allow to pass when the moderators spot it.

      Banned for 3 months unless you can show that they have “gone to ground”. Bear in mind I know roughly what Stephenson is doing, and what Hager is likely to be doing and I can check exactly within a day. ]

      • dv 1.1.1

        That is a really strong argument for an independent inquiry Sam.
        If indeed Hager and Stephenson are what you say the NZDF needs the inquiry,

        • Rightly or wrongly

          Perhaps the enquiry should be into compulsory journalistic standards including a requirement for journalists to approach both sides of a story for comment befire publishing.

          What about a requirement that if publishing a story based on hearsay and unverified photos.

          And which are supllied by people belonging to a culture that is culturally and religiously opposed to us, they should not pretend that thesd same people are witnesses of high veracity.

          An enquiry into journalists – that is a great idwa.

          • Hanswurst

            “Both sides of the story” like SAS members and villagers? Oh, lookee there. They did. The idea that an official approach to the NZDF would constitute approaching another “side” is questionable at best. Stephenson and Hager found compelling evidence that something happened and published it. The idea that the facts might have been substantially altered by approaching the NZDF has been blown out of the wate rby the fact that the NZDF hasn’t provided any information that substantially challenges the account in the book.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        They’ve “gone to ground” in your dreams have they?

        I suggest you read what Selwyn Manning has to say before embarrassing yourself any further. And then ask yourself why you’re so keen to deny the possibility that crimes were committed, or that the NZDF have continued their proven track record of lying, on this issue and others.

        • Sam C

          So, to be clear, are you refuting that Hager and Stephenson were wrong, OAB?

          The rest of your comment, as usual, is playing the man rather than the ball.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            To be clear, if you read the response I linked to, you’d know the answer to that question.

            You might have difficulty finding point 3, so here’s the summary.

            The SAS raid was about two kilometres from the position we gave in the book: CORRECT, BUT DOES NOT CHANGE THE STORY IN ANY SIGNIFICANT WAY

            There’s no chance you’ll read as far as point 7, so here it is:

            Lieutenant General Tim Keating told the press conference: “The ground force commander was an NZSAS Officer who controlled both the ground activities and provided clearance, after the appropriate criteria had been met, for any involvement of the aircraft. These elements were co-ordinated by an air controller in his location.” CORRECT AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION

            This statement contradicts earlier statements by the government (in 2014) where ministers suggested that if there had been any civilian deaths they were the responsibility of the US pilots, not the New Zealand SAS. It confirms what we said in the book: that the SAS commanders in charge of the raid have responsibility for deaths and injuries caused by the US attack helicopters, which they controlled and had requested to be part of the raid.

            Shall we go over some more examples of the NZDF changing its story, or perhaps you can remember what they did to the Berrymans.

            Turning potential war crimes into a political football. What a winner you are.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.3

        Link please for your assertion that the authors claimed it was impossible for anything they said to be wrong. From memory, their “actually impossible” to be wrong statement related to the main claim of their book: that the SAS attacked these two villages and civilians were killed in the attack. You’re asserting they instead made a blanket claim of infallibility – prove it or shut up.

        • Pete George

          They have said they “stand by the facts in their book” and followed that up saying “It is actually impossible that the story is wrong.”

          Hit and Run co-authors Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson stand by the facts in their book. They say the NZDF response to the book issued on Sunday night is bizarre and a continuation of seven years of cover up. It seems, they said, to be nothing more than an attempt to squirt ink in the water.

          “We are absolutely confident that an SAS raid took place on 22 August 2010 where six civilians were killed and another 15 injured. We know a dozen houses were destroyed as well. We have testimony about these events from members of the SAS, Afghan commandos and people living in the villages that were raided, Naik and Khak Khuday Dad. The SAS and villagers both talked about assaults on the same named people’s houses. It is actually impossible that the story is wrong.”

          The NZDF press release is simply incorrect and implausible. To be true, it would require an identical raid by identical forces, using identical helicopters, on identical targets at the same time.

          “We are shocked that the NZDF believes this is a legitimate reply to the serious and tragic revelations in the book. It looks like nothing more than people trying to evade responsibility and reinforces the need for a full and independent inquiry.”

          • Sam C

            Thanks Pete – beat me to it!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “The story” ≠ “the exact location of the villages in the story”.

            The NZDF have confirmed large parts of the story, and in doing so, have contradicted numerous previous statements they made.

            Choke on it Peter and Sam.

            • Pete George

              I don’t expect claims of the NZDF to be fully accurate. neither the claims of Hager and Stephenson.

              Why do you fully believe one side of a murky story and trash the other?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                1. The NZDF’s unfortunate track record of lying, on this issue and others.
                2. The NZDF’s account confirms lots of details in the accounts of the SAS troops, villagers, and Afghan administration, as told to Stephenson & Hager.

                The fact that lying weasel scum like you are queuing up to throw words like “murky” around is of peripheral interest.

                • It didn’t take you long to fall back on personal abuse, did it. You don’t seem to be able to help yourself when your arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You’d have to scrutinise them to make that claim. Here they are again, scum:

                    1. The NZDF’s unfortunate track record of lying, on this issue and others.
                    2. The NZDF’s account confirms lots of details in the accounts of the SAS troops, villagers, and Afghan administration, as told to Stephenson & Hager.

          • Psycho Milt

            They have said they “stand by the facts in their book” and followed that up saying “It is actually impossible that the story is wrong.”

            In other words, no they haven’t said it’s impossible for anything they say to be wrong and Sam C is talking out his arse.

            Here’s what your linked story shows their actual claim to be:

            “We are absolutely confident that an SAS raid took place on 22 August 2010 where six civilians were killed and another 15 injured. We know a dozen houses were destroyed as well. We have testimony about these events from members of the SAS, Afghan commandos and people living in the villages that were raided, Naik and Khak Khuday Dad. The SAS and villagers both talked about assaults on the same named people’s houses. It is actually impossible that the story is wrong.”

            So, they’ve said it’s impossible the following is wrong:
            1. That the SAS attacked the villages Naik and Khak Khuday Dad on 22 August 2010;
            2. That the raid killed six civilians and injured 15.
            3. That the raid destroyed a dozen houses.

            I’m not aware that any of those claims have been proven wrong.

            • Pete George

              It depends on what interpretation you put on “the story”.

              “The SAS and villagers both talked about assaults on the same named people’s houses. It is actually impossible that the story is wrong.”

              Hearsay is not evidence. It is quite possible that people’s claims to journalists, and then interpreted and written about by the journalists, are not completely factual. They could be largely not factual for all most of us know.

              I’m not aware of evidence of 2. and 3. being 100% correct – are you?

              It also depends on what they mean by “They have said they “stand by the facts in their book”.

              That could imply that they don’t necessarily stand by their assertions and assumptions and hearsay?

              • I’m not aware of evidence of 2. and 3. being 100% correct – are you?

                How is that relevant? The claim is that elements of their story they claimed it impossible to be wrong are in fact wrong. Those three elements mentioned above are the relevant elements of their story – have any of them shown to be wrong? If not, Sam C is talking out his arse, and by extension, so are you.

                Whether the claims are correct or not is for an investigation to establish, not something to be decided by blog commenters or via assertions by the NZDF.

        • Pete George

          What Hager and Stephenson are really saying is that they think that it is impossible that any of their informants are wrong. That’s a fairly big call to make, given that there’s a possibility that some informants may have some connection to the opposing force, the Taliban.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            What Hager and Stephenson are saying is that the accounts SAS troops, villagers, and the Afghan administration have given them are consistent.

            Given that we know from multiple sources that SAS and Afghan commandos raided the homes of Maulawi Naimatullah and Abdullah Kalta, given their village is at Naik, and given that the accounts of what happened at Khak Khuday Dad and Naik are almost all consistent with the NZDF accounts, Nicky and I are confident that the villages the NZSAS raided were those two villages.

            Get your amygdala checked.

            • Pete George

              ‘The Afghan Administration’?

              Which SAS troops, specifically? Please back that up with details.

                • Sam C

                  That link doesn’t answer Pete’s valid question. Not in the slightest.

                • Thanks for the link. That refers to claims before all the questioning began. It states:

                  This book would not have been possible without the assistance of present and former New Zealand, Afghan and US military personnel, who spoke to the authors on the condition that their names and identities would not be revealed.

                  That doesn’t say they were informed by SAS troops, and it doesn’t say they were informed by anyone who took part in the raid.

                  There is no mention of SAS troops at all there.

                  Can you come up with anything actually relevant?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You asked two questions. The first about the Afghan administration. It is answered by the link. Can you come up with anything that indicates you actually read it?

                    The SAS sources have been mentioned in various news reports, including Matthew Hooton on NBR radio, and the initial press reports.

                    For example:

                    * The pair claim they have more than three dozen sources, including SAS members involved in the mission.

                    Do something about your monumental ignorance of this subject. Nah, you’ll just run your mouth some more.

                    Edit: yep, you’re back running your mouth.

                    • That’s a news summary that some unnamed person has done on Yahoo news.

                      You have changed your claim. Are you aware a ‘member’ may not be the same as a ‘troop’.

                      Where do Hager or Stephenson refer to “SAS members involved in the mission”?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      For yet another example.

                      Mr Hager said the book was based on information from unnamed sources – including SAS troops involved in the raid.

                    • That’s not a quote from Hager or Stephenson. You seem to be having trouble finding something to back up your assertion from them.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I just found two, unless you’re running with the line that RNZ are somehow mistaken. You want to play some more stupid games about potential war crimes, be my guest, it will only advertise what a low-life you are.

            • Pete George

              I think this is the last Hager has said about the claims and counterclaims –

              In that he says:

              However reports from SAS members and local people interviewed for the book describe multiple heavy attacks that wounded and killed civilians in different locations.

              ‘SAS members’ does not necessarily mean ‘SAS troops’ and it doesn’t claim to be informed by SAS trrops who took part in the attack.

              It has been said by people with a good knowledge of the SAS that is is very unlikely SAS troops would talk to journalists about operational matters. The have strong codes of military ethics and codes of silence.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It has been said by people with a good knowledge of the SAS that is is [sic] very unlikely SAS troops would talk to journalists about operational matters.

                Back that assertion of fact up with relevant quotes and details, the way you’ve been demanding of others.

              • McFlock

                You’re welcome to back up your own assertions about “members vs troops” etc.

                But more interestingly, supposing that someone had heard concerning accounts of dead children from a botched raid, might that not bring their “strong codes of military ethics” into conflict with their “codes of silence”?

          • Tricldrown

            Patheticly Gormless argument.
            Your saying the SAS soldiers who are whistleblowing on our DF are lying.
            Yeah right Stephenson has caught out the NZDF before I see none of them are suing.
            DF sends out a lying Drone Blind Bill English.
            Bill English’s body language says it all.

      • Johan 1.1.4

        To Sam C,
        “wrong at even a cursory level?” At what point is the book incorrect Sam, or has the hierarchy of the NZDF been found-out editing transcripts? Civilians living in the area and SAS personel are all incorrect Sam or are you merely following your typical RWNJ line of thinking?

        • Sam C

          Read Keating’s statement from last week. Then St Nicky’s confirmation that he had been wrong, but it was irrelevant in the wider context. Except it isn’t really irrelevant. But hey, I’m just a RWNJ.

          • dv

            SO an inquiry will sort it out Sam.
            The reputation of the NZDF needs the inquiry don’t you think?

            • Pete George

              What will an inquiry actually sort out?

              The attacks happened in 2010. Will villagers be willing to provide testimony as opposed to making claims to journalists?

              It will be difficult to verify evidence from the area they occurred. The Afghan Government (who the SAS were supporting) and the US military may or may not share what evidence they may still have, if they still have it.

              The attacks happened at night so visual evidence may at best be mostly unclear.

              I think the most likely outcome will be uncertainty over a number of facts. That will mean Anthony can write another post raising doubts about the reputation of the NZDF, and Hager and Stephenson will be able to claim they weren’t proven wrong (except for some details).

              In the meantime large numbers of civilians are likely to be killed in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere in ongoing conflicts.

              What will be gained by finding out that civilians were (possibly accidentally) killed on one raid involving the SAS seven years ago?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                No-one expects you to understand the reason why SAS troops have come forward to give Stephenson this story. No-one expects you to grasp why Wayne Mapp is calling for an enquiry.

                Just stop worrying about it.

                • Which ‘SAS troops’ exactly?

                  David Fisher wrote:

                  It wasn’t just mislabelling one area as another – the authors circled and painstakingly named houses belong to those they said were victims, apparently from interviews.

                  It has raised the question since: ‘If they got the location of the villages wrong, what else should be questioned”?


                  Everything should be questioned – what Hager and Stephenson have claimed, what their informants have claimed, and what the NZDF claims.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Good to see you’ve contradicted your assertion that nothing can be gained from an inquiry. This conversation is done.

                    • I didn’t say an inquiry would be necessary or useful. There are other ways of asking questions – something you seem to give up on when questions are asked of you to support your assertions.

                    • Sam C

                      The conversation is done because you’ve painted yourself into a corner. Again.

                      [lprent: You certainly did. You picked up a 3 month ban for being a despicable cowardly liar. ]

                    • mickysavage

                      I dont get it Sam. You are preoccupied about the issue of the location of the killing and wounding of civilians but not worried about the said killing and wounding of those civilians. And you are not upset that the NZDF has said repeatedly that there were no civilian casualties but now seem to be saying that there were casualties.

                      Why is that?

                • Chuck

                  OAB you are spinning your self silly…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Chuck you are a fucking moron with zero integrity. Put up or shut up.

              • lprent

                What will be gained by finding out that civilians were (possibly accidentally) killed on one raid involving the SAS seven years ago?

                That is how you learn from mistakes. In this particular case there are three things that worry me

                1. The intel appears to have been quite flawed, and an operation was planned and executed that was obviously a complete screwup because the intel was crap.

                2. To date I haven’t seen ANY evidence that the NZDF actually reviewed and learned the lessons from their deployment in Afghanistan. There was a review of this incident from ISAF that appears to have been lost on the NZDF side. So clearly it wasn’t regarded as being anything apart from face saving toilet paper. There was a review of the whole deployment that was trash canned on some basis that hasn’t been made public in detail. By the sound of it, some of the commanders who were deployed there didn’t like it.

                3. There is a distinct whiff of cover up and avoidance by the NZDF HQ. That is a bit terrifying when you consider that it appears that the NZDF staff appear to be far more interested in covering their arses than making sure that the same fuckups won’t happen next deployment. Having officers who appear to spend their time sticking their heads up their own arse rather than learning lessons form their mistakes is the best known way to kill your own soldiers.

                Basically you are quite wrong, and appear to have a simple minded approach to this.

                Incidentially, from reading the Hager/Stephenson book and what the NZDF has been saying, I don’t have too much concern about how our soldiers acted on the ground. I have some questions about how a house got set on fire and why they returned to destroy houses later. The rest sounds well within the mission params for a night action and what looks like a mission profile screwed by poor intel.

                I have quite a lot of questions about why we had the poor intel and why the HQ staff appear to have been covering their arse rather than learning lessons from the actions.

                • “That is how you learn from mistakes.”

                  Yes. And I think it is very likely the NZDF will have learnt from mistakes related to this attack, in handling the aftermath hopefully. And SAS will learn from every operation that they take part in. Mistakes are going to be made in wars and may well have been in this case, but it’s a bit late to learn much from it now.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It’s never too late to stop lying to Ministers about it.

                  • lprent

                    You mean that the completely inept handling by the NZDF this last couple of weeks hasn’t been something that they should learn from?

                    But think of this. Stephenson has been looking at this issue for several years. That has been quite clear from his previous public articles. Each time the NZDF PR squad lied about it. Each time that completely pissed off some soldiers and and probably others who knew what happened. Each time he got more information.

                    The problem now isn’t the operation. It is that the officers and ministers have been deliberately and carefully lying to the public for no apparent reason. That lack of reason points directly to a high degree of personal corruption across a number of high ranking fools as the most likely reason.

                    …but it’s a bit late to learn much from it now.

                    Perhaps you should go and read about officer training. For some strange reason that might escape you in your usual thoughtless fashion, they spend a *lot* of time examining the mistakes of the past – all the way back to the greeks and romans. Officers are expected to do that kind of examination of past and current actions throughout their military life. This is to make sure that the mistakes (and fixes) are communicated throughout the force(s) so that the probability of error is reduced in the future.

                    What worries me with what I have read about this set of deployments is that it clearly hasn’t been something that they have NOT been doing.

                    Clearly if we can’t trust the NZDF HQ to do it themselves, then they need an outside stimulus from the people who pay them to do that task.

                  • Penny Bright

                    When did New Zealand ever declare WAR on Afghanistan?

                    What have the people of Afghanistan (on the other side of the world) ever done to the people of New Zealand?

          • Muttonbird

            But hey, I’m just a RWNJ.

            Only thing you’ve been right on so far.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5

        why have elements of the book been proven to be wrong at even a cursory level?

        [Citation needed]

        Yes, I do realise that you’ve been banned but I’m pretty sure that other RWNJs have seen the distributed talking points that you’re basing your allegation upon and so should be able to answer it.

    • BM 1.2

      This could well be one of the issues that cost them the election.

      I really don’t think so, if anything he’s probably gained more votes by ignoring Hager.

      • left_forward 1.2.1

        Yes, of course – the ol’, three monkeys strategy – after all it seems to have worked before. The truth has always been unhelpful to the right.

        BTW, ignoring Stephenson might also be recommended… and perhaps all the other investigative journalists!

  2. Ethica 2

    This morning the police are praising themselves for having an inquiry into police coverups of sexual violence ten years ago. They say it made a huge change to their culture. It took a long time to get such an inquiry. So why isn’t the NZDF and the Government brave enough to have an inquiry in this case? What are they scared of?

    • Johan 2.1

      To Ethica,
      New Zealand has a lot of difficulties admitting to their screw-ups, whether it be the NZDF, CYFs and wrongful placement and abuse of children, Erebus disaster cover-up and final correct verdict, the Tangiwai railway disaster and the 100 year embargo by police of its findings, Pike River Coal, CTV building fuck-up…………………………………………………..
      Our gov’t needs to be able to subpoena individuals to force them to give evidence, admit wrong doings if any, seek reparations and then move on for the better.

    • Ad 2.2


      good cultural comparison between NZPolice and NZDF

  3. Incognito 3

    I’d say that “public confidence” is a ‘fickle beast’ at the best of times and generally more like an ‘old sleeping dog’. Has there been a proper poll on how concerned the general public is about the topics of the book?

    • Nothing that I’ve seen that has been published. There’s a good bet National will have tested public opinion though.

      I think that those claiming the reputation of the NZDF is on the line may be overestimating how much weight the public in general gives to Hager’s claims. Most people will know few if any details and apart from a basic perception are unlikely to think it’s a big deal, if they have thought about it before.

      Those with political interests trying to talk up doubts about the reputation of the NZDF may please the Taliban, but I doubt that many people care.

      I wonder what the Afghan Government thinks about it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        You piece of shit.

        Pretending that holding the NZDF to account is some partisan political game. What the fuck is wrong with you.

        • Mordecai

          No-one’s suggesting that. It is Hager and Stephenson who have made this political by publishing their claims in an election year (which is Hagers stock in trade of course). It is they who have made these claims, it is they who have to provide evidence. So far they have nothing but hearsay.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            …and shell casings, and photographs, and death certificates, and the NZDF slowly being forced to admit detail after detail.

            • Pete George

              Hager states:

              The illustration in the book shows objects collected by the villagers after the raid and the caption refers only to two drink bottles pictured, which the villagers thought were left by snipers. There was no suggestion that the weapon cartridges were from the SAS.


              There is no evidence that the drink bottles had anything to do with the SAS.
              People with a knowledge of how the SAS operates say that snipers would be very unlikely to leave rubbish behind.

              The shell casings could have come from anywhere – except from the SAS.

              It was easy to get the implication from the photo caption that the casings were associated with the SAS, Hager says that is wrong.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The NZDF confirmed (after previously denying it) that the helicopters used in the raid were under SAS command, and indeed fired on people and houses.

                “The ground force commander was an NZSAS Officer who controlled both the ground activities and provided clearance, after the appropriate criteria had been met, for any involvement of the aircraft. These elements were co-ordinated by an air controller in his location.”

                Lieutenant General Tim Keating

                Yet another piece of your monumental ignorance cleared up.

            • Pete George

              The photo caption:

              Villagers found strange drink bottles at a lookout point on a ridge above the village. Islamuddin was shot as he inadvertently approached this position. This may have be have been one of the places where SAS snipers were located during the raid.

              That is nothing more than speculation and hearsay (‘inadvertently’ claim by Hager about someone who was apparently killed so cannot speak for themselves).

              No evidence that these items arranged for a photo some time later had any connection to the SAS, although that was implied.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The evidence that Islamuddin was shot by ground troops is the nature of his wounds.

                The evidence that the SAS controlled helicopters fired on people and buildings has now been confirmed by Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

                You see, I’m not relying on the photo at all. Diversion fail 😆

                • “The evidence that Islamuddin “? It has been claimed, but what evidence?

                  There is no evidence “he inadvertently approached this position”.

                  Where is the evidence that the SAS controlled the helicopters that fired? They were US helicopters.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    See my comment at 9:52am.

                    Do I need to explain why the nature of his wounds is significant?

                    • McFlock

                      pg tips will only demand evidence that you measured their diameter yourself, and then demand confirmation that the ruler you used was correctly marked, and then when you provide certifications from the standards board that the ruler was fine he’ll argue that you should have used calipers for a precise measurement, etc etc etc.

                      Can’t argue against Cartesian Doubt.

            • Mordecai

              Shell casings from an apache helicopter that could have fired st anything. Stock photos of a child who wasn’t even there. Seriously are you so desperate that you are rendered so gullible?

              • McFlock

                well then, hager and stephenson would be easily pilloried in an official inquiry.

                Unless they’re right.

                • Mordecai

                  Why incur the cost of an enquiry in response to unproven allegations from an author with a strong political motive, published in an election year, containing already verified errors?
                  Besides, an enquiry that found against Hager would be called a whitewash by you, just as any chance of an enquiry has been written off by Rob.

                  • McFlock

                    “Verified errors”? lol

                    Because the only actual “verified errors” were using a computer mapping service that had labelled the wrong villages. Everything else is exceptionally plausible and seems consistent with the events, if not the outcomes, confirmed by NZDF.

                    There’s a solid chance that NZDF accidentally killed civilians and the hierarchy intentionally covered it up.

                    That’s why we need a fucking inquiry. If we can spend $26mil on a flag referendum or two, we can spend more than that finding out what was done under its auspices.

                    • Mordecai

                      Stephenson has spent years on this, and they got one of the most fundamental details wrong. Then they used a stock image for the front cover that depicted an unconnected scene. Hager and Stephenson have contradicted each other about the existence or otherwise of a village named Tirgiran. It goes on and on, and there will be more.
                      But the worst is this: Hager and a Stephenson have claimed the SAS mission was motivated by revenge, a despicable claim that is not backed by any evidence whatsoever.
                      This is a book of fiction, unworthy of any further consideration, and the public have already switched off.

                    • lprent []

                      So we need a inquiry to determine where they were wrong and to clear this all up.

                      Glad you agree with eveyone else

                    • McFlock

                      Whatever, fucko. You can bitch about one map and stockphoto-gate all you want. The ICC can sort it out.

                  • lprent

                    Besides, an enquiry that found against Hager would be called a whitewash by you, just as any chance of an enquiry has been written off by Rob.

                    You shouldn’t judge everyone using the low standards you use on yourself. Most people have higher and way less blinded viewpoints.

                    The trick to convincing intelligent people is if the inquiry is perceived to be transparent by the people interested in it long enough to read the reports and to follow the evidence. Of course unlike virtually all of the idiot’s like you who haven’t read Hit and Run and then comment on it, they will actually read the source material. This is almost a defining factor between idiot trolls and humans.

                    And r0b is making a estimation of Bill’s political timidity. Probably accurate.

                  • Hanswurst

                    Why incur the cost of an enquiry in response to unproven allegations […]?

                    Because the enquiry that people are suggesting is precisely in order to prove (or otherwise) those allegations. If they were proven, then that particular enquiry would be unnecessary.

                    • Mordecai

                      So anyone can make unsubstantiated allegations about anything and you’d support an enquiry? Here’s a thought.,,let Hager put up some evidence, instead of innuendo and hearsay. When he does, then there will be grounds for an enquiry.

                    • Hanswurst []

                      let Hager put up some evidence, instead of innuendo and hearsay […]

                      He has. In fact, there’s no point in continuing a discussion on the basis of a conment which, whether due to idiocy or design, displays a complete ignorance of what “innuendo”, “hearsay” and “evidence” even mean.

                    • Mordecai

                      No, he hasn’t. And English has thrown down the gauntlet. Put up evidence, which the NZDF has a statutory obligation to investigate, or go forth and multiply.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Mordecai: Hanswurst is right. Your pissy little hatred of Hager blinds you to the fact that it is Wayne Mapp and SAS troops who were on the scene, among others, who have provided the evidence.

                      Hager’s role in this is more like that of an editor, responsible for turning Stephenson’s reporting of the evidence into book format.

                    • Mordecai

                      ” it is Wayne Mapp and SAS troops who were on the scene, among others, who have provided The evidence”

                      What evidence? Wayne Mapp hasn’t produced any evidence. Who are these SAS troops? Let Hager produce the evidence to the NZDF. Every day that goes by until they do is a day their silence writes them off as opportunists in disgrace.

                      [lprent: Banned for 3 months for making a deliberate lying assertion which is quite defamatory. To my knowledge, Hagar has been doing interviews and statements. I suspect that Stephenson is probably working somewhere in the world.

                      But I really don’t like arseholes who try to make up crap and try to make it faux news. They don’t get to do it often here because their commenting is interspersed with long bans so they have time to read our policy. ]

                    • Mordecai

                      Hager may well be doing interviews, but I’m talking about EVIDENCE. There is nothing defamatory in asking for evidence. I suspect you’ve taken exception to my catching you out on the other thread. Loser.

        • Johan

          Obviously morality and ethics is not part of Pete George’s thinking. Wrongful killings according to this RWNJ can easily be justified and swept under the carpet, if it happened far away, years have gone by, and if the incident benefits our enemies. Where have I heard this BS before?

  4. Keith 4

    Today the media are reflecting on the police culture that existed and the progress being made in the past decade by that organisation. But what if they had taken the unbelievably arrogant stance of the military hierarchy and just gone into denial, cover up and whitewash. And what if the government of the day supported such stupidity as well? Their reputation would be destroyed. I am guessing this is what these Generals cannot and will not see. They have forgotten who they serve. They think it is themselves.

    English is a fool if he thinks this is one of the list of growing holes in the dyke National can plug up with a diversion or wait for the media to grow bored. It has lawyers involved who will not forget, it has our international reputation on the line and eyes from overseas watching. This is not just another Saudi sheep bribe, Oravida/Sky City deal or tax haven cover up.

    I cannot help but wonder if the reluctance by National based on saving their own skin also hinges on the fact this book and these revelations have Nicky Hager’s name attached.

  5. Ant 5

    An independent enquiry could prove the accuracy of the book’s basic tenets. Memories are not that short and the voting public will be prompted in turn to afford “Dirty Politics” greater legitimacy. Together with “Hit and Run” this double blow would make serious inroads into confidence in the government. By waving “Hit and Run” away you also keep “Dirty Politics” at bay.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1


      The last thing this should be is a political football. The NZDF has already acted politically in lying so many times and apparently lying to Ministers.

      All parties, political or not, and especially the casualties and troops involved, deserve better from us.

  6. The Manning and Young essays cited are two very important follow ups to the original story and the NZDF response to it. The first dissects that response and finds some glaring discrepancies in the NZDF account of events–glaring to the point of involving sins of commission and omission on key points that form the core of the NZDF rebuttal.

    The Young piece is extraordinary because she has pointed out that civilian control and oversight of the military in NZ is woefully lacking. Since such control and oversight lies at the foundation of civil-military relations in liberal democracies, this means that the NZDF has been operating with a degree of unchecked autonomy unseen in mature democratic states. This may be due to a mix of colonial legacy (where the NZ military answered to the Queen, not the government), political elite ignorance of military affairs and public disinterest in them, but whatever the reasons it is remarkable, in a bad way, how little accountability the NZDF has to its erstwhile political supervisors and the public that pays their salaries and buys the NZDF its equipment. Wrapping itself in notions of “sacrifice” and patriotism is no substitute for the NZDF being held accountable by the public it ostensibly serves and the politicians who are charged by the electorate with overseeing it.

    I was involved in a Transparency International exercise two years ago where I flagged some of these issues as part of the review of the NZDF and intelligence services. The final published report saw my low scores on a number of questions about accountability etc. averaged out to “very good” and “excellent.” I knew then that either there were not enough neutral observers looking at the NZDF and intelligence community or that the exercise was just a whitewash using TI as a prop.

    I am a bit surprised that Mr. George is running such determined interference for the NZDF/National. From his comments it seems clear that he has uncritically swallowed the NZDF line. Given that he likes to opine in public forums it might be wise for him to read the two essays mentioned in the post before commenting further.

    There is an old maxim that states that “in war the military controls the narrative.” But what makes democratic civil-military relations different from authoritarian civil-military relations is in part the willingness and ability of independent media and political authorities to conduct impartial reviews of military conduct on and off the battlefield. That prevents the military from circling its wagons in order to protect its own when bad things happen by accident or design, which in turn promotes more transparency and internal notions of responsibility to the public interest within it.

    Unless an inquiry into the claims made in “Hit and Run” is launched, then we are left with only one description for the bottom line when it comes to NZDF being held responsible for its actions: it is grounded in a culture of impunity rather than accountability. And that, I hate to say, is inimical to democratic governance.

    • Muttonbird 6.1

      Often wondered about the mechanics of measuring the TI scores and how NZ has maintained a high position despite significant erosion of proper democratic function and the introduction of a sort of pragmatic democracy.

      ‘Not enough neutral observers’ and ‘whitewash’ are two concepts which make a lot of sense.

    • lprent 6.2

      Elegantly put. That is the next tier out from the need of the NZDF to improve itself. For the polity here to learn how to control the military both closely and at arms length.

    • “I am a bit surprised that Mr. George is running such determined interference for the NZDF/National. From his comments it seems clear that he has uncritically swallowed the NZDF line. ”

      Given you like to opine in public perhaps you should look a bit more before firing.

      I have by no means “uncritically swallowed the NZDF line”. Unlike some here though I also won’t uncritically swallow Hager’s and Stephenson’s lines. Do you think everything they and some here claim should go unchallenged?

      I’m on record as saying I think we should have an inquiry, but I happen to seriously question what it will achieve.

      • Muttonbird 6.3.1

        But that’s all you do. Question what calls for action will achieve.

        Recently should encouraged the Pike River families to forget their boys and give up. You advised then to let the mine be permanently sealed because you questioned what their protest action was even about let alone what it might achieve.

        Zero empathy.

        • Pete George

          That’s diverting, but I do have empathy for families of those killed in Pike River (one of whom was an ex flatmate of mine), including those families who want bodies left undisturbed in the mine. Do you have any empathy with them?

          • Muttonbird

            That’s not diverting. That’s commenting on the drive of your argument which is to do nothing when quite plainly it will; namely to provide clarity, and reassurance for the public.

            I referenced you using the same method when arguing for the Pike River families to step down after one elderly family member of the 29 victims found memories of the incident distressing.

            I don’t believe you have empathy for others and I base that on your pettifogging posts.

      • Anne 6.3.2

        Given you like to opine in public perhaps you should look a bit more before firing.

        Projection my friend… projection.

        It is you who needs to “look a bit more before firing”.

        You can start off my reading the book Hit &Run from cover to cover and follow that by reading the excellent critiques mentioned. A look at Paul Buchanan’s most recent posts at Kiwipolitico won’t go amiss.

        Having done that, you might start becoming less impressed with the ruminations of the shoulder padded, shiny buttoned military apologist, and more impressed with the excellent commentary by the aforementioned experts. What’s more you will be far better informed than you seem to be at the moment.

        • Pete George

          I’ve read every response from Hager and Stephenson, also what the NZDF has said, David Fisher and Toby Manhire have given it good media coverage, and comment from many others including here and from Buchanan. I’ve also read a lot of debates looking at many sides and aspects of the issue. So you’ve fired a fizzer too.

          • Anne

            But you haven’t read the book!

          • left_forward

            Kinda avoided the question as to whether you have read Hit & Run, didn’t you pg? Given your obsessive opining on this thread, I would have thought that that was a given.

            I’m on record as saying I think we should have an inquiry, but I happen to seriously question what it will achieve

            Where / when did you say that? How would anyone have guessed that you actually agreed with the other contributors?

          • Brigid

            “So you’ve fired a fizzer too.”

            Not so much.
            Read this:
            You can start off by reading the book Hit &Run from cover to cover.

            • Pete George

              I don’t see any point in buying it, nor in reading it. All the key information seems to have been covered by Hager, Stephenson and media.

              Hager seems to concede it isn’t enough on it’s own, that’s why he’s demanding an inquiry. If it had irrefutable evidence it would stand on it’s own, not even he and Stephenson go as far as claiming that.

              “The allegations that the defence force has avoided or answered inadequately to date are:”

              “If we are correct that bad things are being covered up, we cannot expect the people at the heart of the cover up to provide impartial information. Once again, this means that the only acceptable option is a full and independent inquiry.”

              “Most of the information needed to confirm whether or not the allegations in the book are correct is located here in New Zealand, in the SAS files. ”


              Hager wants an inquiry to get information revealed (that he doesn’t have) to prove what he calls “allegations”. His book doesn’t prove much and he seems to know it. He has tried to generate public pressure to get the evidence he wants. if it exists.

              • Brigid

                So you “don’t see any point in buying it, nor in reading it. ”
                But you declare “His book doesn’t prove much…..”

                One or other statements is false.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                …and that explains why Wayne Mapp agreed to be interviewed by John Stephenson 🙄

                What a twisted little mind Petty George has,

              • left_forward

                Perhaps a point for you to buy & read, hit & run, is that it will improve the outside chance of there being substance between your conjecture and assertions.

              • “I don’t see any point in buying it, nor in reading it.”

                Pete doesn’t see any point in reading “Hit & Run”.

                And yet, this outpouring of opinion, about the book, from Pete.

                Staggering disconnect there, No Point Pete!

              • Penny Bright

                In my view, Pete George, you have undermined your credibility by not reading for yourself ‘Hit and Run’.

              • Keith

                So since you have failed to read the book why are you even commenting on a subject you know nothing about?

                Do you just read the headlines and take in the quips from Mike Hosking as detail?

                • Not reading the book doesn’t mean I know nothing about the topic, there has been a heap said about it including the key contents published. ‘Hit & Run’ is far from comprehensive.

                  I’n sure not everyone commenting on it has read the whole book, plus everything else that has been published about it since 2010.

                  Hager and Stephenson down’t know anywhere all there is to know about it and admit that – that’s why they are trying to get an inquiry.

                  I bet not everyone commenting here has read the entire book. That doesn’t stop them (nor should it) from commenting, it would be ridiculous if it did.

                  I’m also fairly sure that people commenting on things here have read the entire policy, or the entire bill, or the entire legislation related to the topic being discussed on.

                  I’m sure people here joining the wee mass attack on me haven’t read everything I’ve written on the topic, but that hasn’t stopped them acting like arrogant know-it-alls – who resort to personal attack.

                  • McFlock

                    Except you’re making claims about what evidence has and has not been presented:

                    There is no evidence “he inadvertently approached this position”.

                    And asking for specifics that, for all you know, are in the book:

                    Which SAS troops, specifically? Please back that up with details.

                    If you want to parse their work to that level of detail (identifying specific individuals or grounds for their anonymity), then yeah, you should read the fucking book first, jerkoff.

                    • All the experts who have read the book haven’t been able to substantiate either of those points. If all that’s left is a lame “you haven’t read the book” then I presume those points can’t be substantiated from the book.

                      I’ve quoted from what is in the book, and what Hager has said in press releases and posts that I have read.

                    • When you’re arguing about the contents of a book, the fact that you haven’t read the book is anything but “lame,” it is instead “highly relevant.”

                    • McFlock

                      How do you know you’ve quoted from what was in the book? How do you know that everything relevant to your bullshit was in the book? Oh, “experts”? Let me guess: NZDF “experts”?

                      You can say what you want about Hager, but Stephenson is an expert in this area. He’s been on the ground in various dangerous places for years if not decades. He’s seen and documented shit that would make you puke at the thought. And you’re not the first establishment shill who’s said his word can’t be trusted, and you won’t be the last to be shown up when his reporting turns out to be verified and independently confirmed beyond dispute.

                    • Not when I’m pointing out that people who have implied they may have read the book can’t substantiate basic aspects of it.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s your interest in whether the NZDF is covering up possible war crimes, is it?

                      You’re quite the hero of truth and accountability /sarc

      • DoublePlusGood 6.3.3

        This post from you is inconsistent with your swag of comments above.

        • Draco T Bastard

          pg tips is consistently inconsistent and he’s got moving goal posts down to a fine art.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.4

        Unlike some here though I also won’t uncritically swallow Hager’s and Stephenson’s lines.

        If they just uncritically swallowed the lines then they wouldn’t be calling for an inquiry but for heads to roll.

        An inquiry would be the biggest challenge to what Hager and Stephenson said.

        I’m on record as saying I think we should have an inquiry, but I happen to seriously question what it will achieve.

        It will achieve many things:

        1. It will hold the military to account
        2. It will highlight what went wrong and what went right and thus suggest better processes
        3. It will hold the government to account which is supposed to be in control of the military.

        You questioning what it will achieve is simply you trying to justify not having one because you’re seemingly fearful of the outcome of such an inquiry – just like every other RWNJ.

    • Penny Bright 6.4

      Paul – in my view – a key question that needs to be asked, is who initiated the NZ SAS taking on a combat role in Afghanistan?

      The NZ Defence Force – or NZ Government?

      • Good question Penny. I think that the NZSAS always was tasked with three roles: train the CRU, provide force protection to VIPs and the PRT when needed, and to conduct long range patrols to collect intelligence and attack targets when required. The spin on “non-combat” was a joint MoD/NZDF effort, which they could always say was the victim of mission creep due to extenuating circumstances.

  7. ianmac 7

    A funny satire with gems of truth. Has it been aired here yet?
    “The elephant in Room 903
    by Steven Price

    “Prime Minister, there is a report that an elephant has escaped from the zoo and is sitting in your office,” said the Prime Minister’s first advisor.
    “That’s terrible!” said the Prime Minister. “Voters will not like it at all.”

    “We have denied it, of course”, said the second advisor.

    “That’s a relief,” said the Prime Minister. “So there is no elephant?”……

  8. Penny Bright 8

    The International LAW covering Operation Burnham, and subsequent actions by ‘OUR’ NZ SAS:

    The 4th Geneva Convention – Article 33.

    (Thanks to Paul Buchanan for the ‘heads up’ on this point.)

    ARTICLE 33 [ Link ]

    No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed.

    Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

    Pillage is prohibited.

    Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

    So, surely what needs to happen, is for a full, thorough and independent Inquiry to first establish the FACTS, the next step would be possible ‘war crimes’ prosecutions, if the FACTS proved that any of the above-mentioned components of Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention were arguably violated?

  9. joe90 9


    There will not be an inquiry into allegations an SAS raid in Afghanistan led to civilian deaths.

    Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry.

    More to come.

    • Cinny 9.1

      Unreals, so angry. Who runs this country? The bloody NZDF, they are the ones who advised the outgoing PM not to have themselves investigated.

      No balls Bill, what a freaking coward.

    • Well, presumably the victims’ lawyers will now ask the ICC to investigate it, because the NZ government has refused, and Bill might end up wishing he’d just set up his own investigation while he had the chance.

    • Something tells me that this is not the end of the matter. A state’s refusal to investigate allegations of serious crimes committed by its own forces is the first step in pushing the inquiry up to the ICC. And given who the lawyers are representing the surviving villagers, the government would do well to reflect on the last time a NZ government tangled with them on a matter of ethics and principle where the official narrative was found to be specious when not dishonest : the Zaoui affair. Woe the Crown lawyer who will have to defend the NZDF case in The Hague.

      • Anne 9.3.1

        Was my immediate reaction too. These ultra conservative authoritarian types in National and the upper echelons of the Defence Force just can’t see beyond the end of their noses. More fool them.

        And spot on adam @10. It’s a totally political decision, and they will ultimately live to rue the day.

  10. adam 10

    These seems to me to be the “bugger the soldiers” approach.

    It’s like the interests of our fighting men and women has been thrown under the bus to score political points.

    No clearing of names, no truth, just swept under the carpet to undermine the confidence and elan of our fight force.

    Well done Bill – who cares about truth in a post-truth world.

    I’m guessing I can now say you won’t have an inquiry because the head of the defense forces came around, then gave you a blow job, and that settled the issue. Because as it stands that is the truth for me.

    The brass blows our PM’s dick, to keep him from looking into their shit handling, of a shitty war.

  11. Greg 11

    Is there any chance the icc could take an Intrest bill Englishness denialism it is one thing in a small banana state like New Zealand but facts put before a international court where the right wing nut jobs can not pebble there distorted view of the world is another.i can only take the natz total denilism as zinduction of hager and steptsion and the fear the natz have that war crimes have been comited something that is inconvenient to a natz

  12. Penny Bright 12

    So the NZ Defence Force get to ‘investigate’ themselves?

    VERY ‘independent’.


    Seems that ‘OUR’ NZ Defence Force is fiercely independent of ‘OUR’ NZ Government?

    Where’s the ‘civilian control’ of our NZ Defence Force?

    Seems they are a law unto themselves?

    What sort of ‘democracy’ is this corrupt, polluted tax haven, otherwise known as New Zealand?

    One door closes – another door opens ……

  13. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 13

    English is a gutless prick – but this mustn’t be the end of it all – we owe the innocent villagers in Afghanistan more than this brush-off.

    We need to encourage the three lawyers to take this to the ICC. Perhaps even set up a crowd-funding web site – I’d be more than happy to contribute – more, I’d feel honour bound to contribute!

    • Anne 13.1

      …more, I’d feel honour bound to contribute!

      Me too!

    • Carolyn_nth 13.2

      English’s primary concern is to discredit Hager. Any considerations of damage to civilians and/or their property comes way behind that.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        Bill English: vitriolic, vindictive, venomous, venal, vengeful.

        Did I leave one out?

        And to think I never described John Key in such harsh terms. 👿

      • Chuck 13.2.2

        English does not need to discredit Hager…Hager does that by himself.

  14. exkiwiforces 14

    This is what I said on 30th March 2017 at 12:50am

    “I personally don’t think there will be independent inquiry as there is too many fingers in the pie regardless who’s in government, but I could be wrong.”

    And i’m not holding my breath either after this year election when the Labour coalition gets elected are as they will have important things to worry about and it will be a case of pollies look after pollies because “there is too many fingers in the pie”.

    Today I’ve seen some excellent comments from Mr Buchanan, Lrpent , Mcflock ,Anne Cinny and Psycho Milt just to name a few. BTW that’s does not include Mr George they were some of the worst comments I’ve seen on this subject since it started. Someone please buy this clown a shovel or a ditch digger.

    As Adam said “It’s like the interests of our fighting men and women has been thrown under the bus to score political points”. Too bloody right Adam, the poor sods have been thrown under the bus.

    But where do we go from here that’s the next question?

    PS, I might be offline for a while and no the goon’s haven’t come after me. Just got health issues from work to due to deal with.

    • Anne 14.1

      But where do we go from here that’s the next question?

      Off to the International Court of Justice in The Hague I imagine.

      There will be no finding before the election and the greasy boys and girls may well be returned to power partly on the strength of it, but the huge amount of international attention once the Hague Court releases its findings should see them all off with a thumping kick in the backside from which they will hopefully not recover for many years.

  15. McFlock 15

    cheers EKF, hope you get them sorted soon.

    As for ‘where to from here’, I think this is a festering sore rather than a king-hit. This is hardly the first time that NZDF has killed someone with an apparent screwup and insisted it was all ok and tried to avoid scrutiny. Something is wrong in the way NZDF management (and I use the term intentionally) deals with its problems, and it’s one of these things that will need to be kept alive over months if not years.

    If the main claims in the book are correct, we need to minimise the chances of such a foul-up happening again.

  16. mary_a 16

    Very disappointing when the PM of the day is relying on his “independent” source of advice, the chief of the NZDF Tim Keating to call the shots. Do we live in a military dictatorship now, where the defence force says what goes? Keating’s comments and lies over the past week have been very conflicting, including stating an inquiry should be held. Now according to Bill English Keating’s advice is to not go down the inquiry road. So where does all this leave the issue?

    Not looking good for the Kiwis serving in the NZ defence forces at the moment, or their predecessors.

    Bill English is gutless. He needs to be taken to task for his incompetent decision here.

    Looks like the next move could well be the ICC at The Hague, seeing the NZ government will not investigate. Will the names at the top of the list of accused look something like this :

    John Key
    Wayne Mapp
    Jerry Mataparae
    along with a few others ….

    • Penny Bright 16.1

      NZ Herald’s Chief Political Editor Audrey Young – ‘takes no prisoners’!

      “Bil English says he has all the information he needs to make up his mind.

      By Audrey Young

      The Prime Minister says no inquiry into the SAS raid in Afghanistan is needed because he trusts the process and he trusts the Chief of Defence Force.

      Granted he has no reason to personally mistrust the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, but he has every reason to mistrust the process.

      There’s that old saying that justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.

      When those who are accused decide if there is a case to answer, justice is nowhere to be seen.

      GO Audrey!

      Is our ‘clean, green’ New Zealand, now some sort of
      half-assed military dictatorship / ‘banana republic’ – without the bananas?


      Whatever happened to the good, old-fashioned Kiwi ‘fair go’ / ‘always two sides to the story’ thing?

      What about the villagers in Afghanistan who lost family members – and are being represented by prominent NZ Human Rights lawyers?

      Did PM Bill English talk to them?


      Did PM Bill English talk to the authors of ‘Hit and Run’ and give them a fair hearing?


      In my considered opinion, Bill English as NZ Prime Minister, is as gutless as he is useless, in terms of standing up to ‘OUR -independent of the NZ Government’ / pro-USA / effectively out-of-control NZ Defence Force.


      Sorry PM Bill English, but in my view, you are NOT ‘fit for duty’, and you need to GO.

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        ” Justice not seen to be done as English accepts Defence Force advice on possible probe- Audrey Young”
        Notice that that column is very hard to find in the Herald today. Relegated?

  17. McFlock 17

    The other problem with current NZDF mandarins providing advice on what happened in events 8 years ago is whether they have skeletons in their own closet: what was Keating doing in 2010? If he was demonstrably well out of it, what about the people who collated the reports for him? Where now are the those mid-level commanders who relied on the crap intelligence?

    An inquiry would guarantee independence as much as practicably possible.

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    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    23 hours ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    2 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    16 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
    Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Thursday 4 July 2024    Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau Celebrate the rising of Matariki Celebrate the rising of the lord of the skies Celebrate the rising ...
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
    A trip to Australia next week to meet mining sector operators and investors will signal New Zealand is once again open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The visit is also an opportunity to build relationships with Australian state and federal counterparts and learn from their experiences as New ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
    New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners is set to grow further with 20 scholarships awarded for groups to gain education experiences across Asia and Latin America, Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Penny Simmonds says. Of the 20 scholarships, 12 have been awarded to groups travelling for study ...
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed progress on Northwest Rapid Transit, as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirms next steps on the preferred option, a busway alongside State Highway 16 from Brigham Creek to Auckland City Centre. “The Government is committed to a rapid transit system that will support urban development, ...
    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
    Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.  “The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction ...
    1 week ago

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