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The responses to the Bain report leak

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, February 20th, 2016 - 47 comments
Categories: national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , , ,

The views of various commentators are starting to percolate through and range from the obsequious to the surprisingly well informed.

Obsequious is the only word available to describe this pitiful attempt by Larry Williams who is starting to write in the Herald.  He shows that he has taken the leaker’s spin hook line and sinker and says this:

The judge looking at David Bain’s compensation claim has found it doesn’t meet the legal threshold.

Judge Callinan reasoned Bain is not innocent beyond reasonable doubt. In order to meet the legal threshold for compensation, the judge had to find “exceptional circumstances” and he didn’t.

The process hasn’t been bungled at all. Judge Binnie’s review of the case was flawed, which meant that another judge had to look at it.

The basic problem with his comment is that Minister Amy Adams said the threshold was proof of innocence on the balance of probabilities.  A clearer example of shifting goalposts is hard to imagine.

Why should Bain still be eligible for compensation?  Because if he shows he is innocent on the balance of probabilities it is clear that the original conviction should not have occurred.  There is a wide gap between establishing innocence on the balance of probabilities and proof beyond reasonable doubt.  William’s suggested test, proof of innocence beyond reasonable doubt, is so difficult to meet it would only be in the most exceptional, and probably science assisted, cases that this would occur.

Williams also says that claims the report was leaked by the Government are “preposterous”.  Well someone leaked it.  The Greens are right.  There should be an inquiry into who did.

Duncan Garner’s analysis is more balanced.  He thinks that it is more likely than not that Bain committed the murders.  He then says this:

Which brings me to the compensation claim. I believe this Government is biased against David Bain. I believe the decisionmakers believe David Bain killed his family. Like every other New Zealander, these ministers have read and followed the trials for decades. It’s been impossible to ignore.

They have been unable to divorce themselves from their personal views. It’s completely unprofessional. For that reason, Bain can not get a fair and independent compensation hearing under this Government.

It’s impossible and we’ve seen that. Bain’s claim needs to be heard by a truly independent panel away from the clutches of Government. And this time the findings can’t be ignored because they don’t gel with the ministers think.

But that’s not how it works here. The decision is highly political, not legal. This Cabinet doesn’t want to pay him a cent because they don’t believe he’s innocent.

Ministers have spent millions of dollars shopping around for a report that fits their view. The indisputable fact is that Bain was found not guilty in the retrial.

You might not like that decision, but the justice system stops being a system when politicians can pick and choose the verdicts they approve of. You can’t re-try by shopping around for a judge to write the report you want.

His comments about how the process has been botched up are spot on.

For a more nuanced post Andrew Geddis has written this.  He wonders at the selectiveness of the leak.  A finding that innocence has been proved beyond reasonable doubt may mean that the new report writer agrees with Ian Binnie that Bain is innocent on the balance of probabilities.  Geddis also discusses the test to be applied.  He correctly identifies that proof of innocence on the balance of probabilities is the apparent threshold with a further requirement that extraordinary circumstances also be shown.

Proving innocence beyond reasonable doubt is one possible extraordinary circumstance.  Being the subject of a botched police inquiry could be another although this Government will never want to acknowledge that this occurred.

And if  you want a sharp spot on comment I offer you this from ACT MP David Seymour.  This is possibly the first time ever a Standard writer has agreed completely with something said by an ACT MP.  I have screen shotted it for posterity.

David Seymour on David Bain

Seymour is right. What is happening here is banana republic stuff.  We should all be very uncomfortable with what is occurring.  And the Government needs to launch an inquiry.

47 comments on “The responses to the Bain report leak ”

  1. gsays 1

    while not having a strong opinion on bain’s guilt or otherwise,
    i firmly believe it’s better to have a guilty person free than an innocent person imprisoned.
    therefore it’s better to have a guilty person compensated than an innocent person go without.

    that is if the decision makers are operating on principle rather than opinion

    • weka 1.1

      very good gsays

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      agreed gsays-well put.

    • Carl 1.3

      When all bar one member of a family is dead by the hands of one of those family members which one did it?

    • aerobubble 1.4

      Yes, the question is for me the principle was Bain provided a fair trial. Any case before the courts thirteen years late is likely to be thrown out, similarly a civil case, for want of credible evidemce, witness recollections etc.Bain can not be held accountable for the justice system failing to provide a quick fair trail. And they did finally, a judge found there was enough evidence for a jury to convict and the jury found Bain not guilty. This idea that courts are ideal, or not, is nonsense. The court had to also ask the question is there enough of a case to answer. That however does not immediately mean Bain is civil liable as it seens to be suggested.

      So its really perplexing, the only way i can figute it, is Key alledgely promised a doner not on his watch. Bain would not get compensation.

      As otherwise Key is buying into the belief that courts are perfect, and when they aren’t poltics and opinion should take their place siding with the state, police, prosecutor s, judges, etc all failing; the holes in the swiss cheese lining up and nobody is found wanting, not for the murders, or for the fiasco that sees an individual lose their liberty. Nobody looks good so why can we hold Bain to any standard, standards were broke.

      The state does not get to go over and over, fishing, it waste resources when cases and prosectors can just kick the ball downthe way coz guilty nviction is unrepealable.

  2. Richard Christie 2

    Quality journalism in NZ is dead.

    Why anybody reads or takes seriously the endless opinion pieces of journalists is beyond my understanding.

    Once, when they had the resources to undertake analysis and research the situation may have been different. Now the publications are so padded out by opinion crap that there is little of news value in what remains.

    Journalistic standards are so low opinions are now no more valid than anybody else’s, in addition, because there are obviously political agendas in play by the publishers, opinions are probably less valid than most people’s.

    I stopped reading the opinions of Sullivan, Armstrong and the throng of their associated want-to-be colleagues years back. I suggest more of us do the same.

    ( Not disagreeing with MS’s post, just tired that people take the Garners of the world etc seriously)

  3. Grey Area 3

    “And the Government needs to launch an inquiry”.

    Yes it does. But it won’t because they are the problem. This is just one more thing to add to the growing list of actions by this “government” that deserve to be investigated but won’t be.

    • Manuka AOR 3.1

      “And the Government needs to launch an inquiry”.

      No. There needs to be an entirely independent inquiry into the government handling of this legal case. As Nicky Hager showed us, there is need for the establishment of an Independent Commission against Corruption in NZ. (In this instance, to investigate the handling of this case. ) I wonder if any Party would commit to establishing such a Commission.

      • belledejourNZ 3.1.1

        yeah independent inquiry, bring it on. Cos I heard it was the other side that leaked.

    • Mosa 3.2

      I reckon John Key leaked it
      Has his M O all over it

  4. wyndham 4

    Why hasn’t Key had the guts to follow the example of National Party PM Robert Muldoon In the Thomas case and come out with a firm decision to compensate Bain and have done with it. The matter is now completely politicised, has become farcical and Justice deserves better than that.

    Whatever one’s feelings are about David Bain, the New Zealand I believe in requires that he be treated with compassion and decency. He will have suffered his personal hell over those thirteen years; before and beyond them. That Key is a political animal to his fingertips has no place in this matter; his poll driven decisions do not apply.

    • belledejourNZ 4.1

      yes Key should step up and draw a line under it. Only thing is, he knows who did it and it was not Robin. Tell Bain to go sing opera for his supper – no compo ***ever**** to the killer of 5.

      Police did not stuff up. Just because Karam said it does not make it true. I mean Karam is denying that his side leaked too, isn’t he?

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        A citizen walks into thei home to find their entire family murdered and it looks like they’ve been framed. Police did not investigate fully in my view because eveyone could see Bain did it.

        Two recent cases. Father kills son when he cant pay him back, and brother kills his young brother. Older people have made more mistakes, Bains’ motive? Insanity?

        • aerobubble 4.1.1.1

          Bain did not get the house, or assets. Bain however did get incarcerated. An insanity verdict ould not have meant incarceration, but treatment.

    • Dorothy Bulling 4.2

      But Muldoon’s action in the Crewe case is exactly the problem here because he made that decision unilaterally in the political sense to gain some popularity, so it was a political decision.

  5. Richard Christie 5

    “Aussie judge who”d previously been investigated in connection with abuse of Court processes”

    Shouldn’t surprise, after all NZ’s go to for patsy opinion (Haig, Bain) has been ex Justice Fisher, who resigned from the Bench because he was caught looking at pornography on his work computer.

  6. The Government needs to launch an inquiry?

    I’m sure the PM could frame terms of reference which would scrupulously get to the bottom of everything. Setting the right lines for inquiries is his thing, a particular skill he has.

    In this case he’d come up with something like:

    1 Determine whether there was a leak of a confidential document.
    2 Determine whether in the event of there being a leak that the wider public opinion became roused.
    3 Determine whether the Minister of Justice Amy Adams is doing a fine job.

    Time for final report:
    During the Olympics, the day that Mahe Drysdale wins a medal, one of our Sevens teams plays its semi-final, Lydia Ko plays her final round and Valerie Adams competes.

    Media release of final report:
    The draft media release has already been prepared thus:
    “A full, deep and inquiry has found no evidence that the office of the Minister of Justice was involved in the leak of a report about Bain compensation. There was wide public interest roused by the early release of parts of the report. The Minister of Justice Amy Adams is doing a fine job. A bloody good job in fact. C’mon Mahe! C’mon Val! C’mon Lydia! Bugger SBW.”

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yeah, that was my immediate thought as well. Getting this government to inquire into itself is an act of futility as they’ll ensure that the inquiry will find them innocent of any wrong-doing never mind the fact that it’s obvious that they’ve been engaged in massive wrong-doing.

    • Tautuhi 6.2

      What another Inquiry, when has an Inquiry ever found anything here in NZ, the outcomes are often predetermined?

  7. Sacha 7

    That there was a leak at all shows the out-of-control factionalism in the Nat caucus. A competent opposition might skilfully exploit that ..

  8. b waghorn 8

    So Seymour points out that the Nats are crooks and yet he’ll continue to support them.??

  9. Andre 9

    To steal a sentiment from John Oliver, if we’re parsing the minutiae of where the threshold for compensation exactly lies, we’ve already done something very very wrong.

    To those who are dead-set against paying compensation to David Bain, I’d like you to put aside for a moment your views on his guilt and ponder for a while the ramifications of this possibility: what if David is in fact innocent?

    • McFlock 9.1

      And what if he actually did it?

      • Andre 9.1.1

        It’s abundantly clear the cops bungled their job so badly it cannot now be determined with any reliability whether Robin or David did it.

        So if David actually did it but gets a payout, he will have served most of his sentence and then been handed a winning lotto ticket by the cops that totally bungled their job.

        Which is an injustice to the victims to be sure and a (trivial) injustice to the taxpayers that funded the cops screwing up. However, that’s minor compared to the enormity of the injustice of being wrongly convicted, wrongly tossed in the slammer for years, then told “suck it up”.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          So basically you’re telling everyone who lost a friend or a relative in that incident to “suck it up”.

          • Andre 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m saying to those that lost a friend or relative that the cops screwing up is definitely responsible for the horrible situation we have now. But there’s a reasonably good chance that David was not responsible, as determined by disinterested experts with access to all the evidence. And we now have no way to fairly determine the truth, since the cops screwed up.

            So to take a substantial risk of perpetrating further injustice on David, who may in fact be the biggest living victim of all, for the sake of holding someone accountable, is morally wrong. If their anger and grief needs an outlet, the appropriate target is the cops that screwed up.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So, basically, suck it.

              “Reasonably good chance” is not good enough to “compensate” someone who is equally or almost as likely to in fact be the perpetrator.

              ‘oh, we’re preeeetty sure we gave the cash and apology to the right person’ is no basis for distributing compensation. We should be damned sure that we’re not just giving an incentive for long-term detainees to keep pushing the appeals process as far as possible on the off-chance they’ll get lucky.

              • Andre

                That’s a view I find astonishingly callous towards the damage done to an individual that is wrongly convicted and imprisoned by the state. So now I’m curious, what’s your view on capital punishment?

                • McFlock

                  Against it.

                  There are many shades of “wrongly convicted and imprisoned”. There’s “completely innocent but the cops fabricated evidence”, there’s “completely guilty but on appeal a good lawyer got a key piece of evidence thrown out, or a witness couldn’t be located for the retrial”, and there’s everything in between.

                  One end of that continuum deserves millions in compensation. To give “compensation” to the other end is a slap in the face to everyone who lost a loved one.

                  You think Bain is innocent, therefore deserves compensation. Fair enough. Personally, I think that the likelihood that he’s a quintiple murderer is at least 50/50. I’m not comfortable with a payout at that rate.

                  • Andre

                    Actually, when it comes to David’s guilt or innocence, I don’t think my opinion is worth shit. I don’t think I’ve seen enough of the evidence to develop a worthwhile opinion. So I have trust the opinions of the experts that have. Ie, the Privy Council, Binnie and so on.

                    The opinion I’m willing to get behind is that the cops appeared to decide very prematurely that David dunnit, and discounted or ignored evidence that pointed to Robin. I feel reinforced in this opinion by the cops’ apparently closed-minded reaction to the possible gun loading markings on Robin’s hand that was pointed out a couple of years ago.

                    Since the dodgy police work failed to follow up and/or subsequently destroyed evidence that may have have conclusively shown Robin to be guilty and thereby maybe exonerated David, it seems to me that convicting and imprisoning someone on the basis of that kind of dodgy work is an exceptional circumstance that justifies compensation. Even though the experts with access to all the evidence only say “balance of probability” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”.

                    • McFlock

                      The initial police impressions of David might be incorrect. But when the medic tells you that someone who is supposedly in catatonic shock is listening to your conversation, it can be difficult to overcome some preconceptions.

                      Since the dodgy police work failed to follow up and/or subsequently destroyed evidence that may have have conclusively exonerated Robin and thereby shown David to be guilty…

                      That’s the other half that you like to skip over.

                      Like I say: against whom was the injustice committed? If the police investigation were more thorough, would he never have been charged, or would he still be in prison? In the first case he deserves compensation. In the latter case he should count himself lucky with the current result.

                      You like Binnie’s evaluation, even though he excluded evidence with a strong filter. That’s nice, and if the next report says the same and Cabinet pays out on a weak “balance of probabilities”, that’s the process done. And I’ll suck it up. But I still won’t have any indication that he deserves a single red cent of it. “Balance of probabilities”? Toss a fucking coin and be honest about it.

                    • Andre

                      It looks to me like the cops thoroughly followed up any scrap of evidence incriminating David, but ignored evidence incriminating Robin. Apparently Robin’s hands were not tested for gunpowder residue. Apparently allegations that David had talked about planning rape and murder were thoroughly investigated, but incest allegations against Robin were dismissed with a “meh, unreliable witness” and no further investigation, to give just two examples. So I think the equivalence you’ve presented as a false equivalence.

                      Convicting and locking someone up is such a horrible thing to do that we rightly demand a very high standard of proof before we actually do it. If it subsequently turns out that that the actual proof was a long way short, to the point of not even meeting “balance of probabilities” so the initial conviction should never have happened, to then refuse compensation because “well, maybe you did it anyway, so count yourself lucky we let you out” makes an absolute mockery of the idea that conviction and imprisonment should only happen after proof beyond reasonable doubt.

                      Plenty of criminals “get lucky” because of poor investigations. That’s a result of the standard of proof we require and the resources we allocate to police, and as a society we seem to be ok with that. We should view the compensation of David the same way, that he may have just got lucky if he’s actually guilty. Because the awfulness of what we’ve done to him, if he’s actually innocent, vastly outweighs the cost of paying him compensation.

                    • McFlock

                      It only “vastly outweighs the cost” of paying a guilty person “compensation” if we ignore the injustices against five dead people, their relatives and their friends.

                      At least have the courtesy of ensuring that compensation is paid to the right people with odds estimates that are better than a drunk betting on the favourite in a horse race.

    • belledejourNZ 9.2

      The evidence says that is not a possibility. Simple

      As for the leak, who has been running a massive PR drive on the back of this leak?
      not the Govt, in case you hadn’t noticed.

  10. Paupial 10

    [MikeySavage: A typo in the third paragraph before the Seymour quote, you have; “Gaddis also discusses…” instead of “Geddis”. Delete this comment after fixing if you want to.]

    [Ta. Now fixed – MS]

  11. Molly 11

    How difficult would it be to release copies of sensitive material that has hidden characters, or in the case of pdfs – small punctuation changes to keep track of who has released a document?

    You would think this would be basic practice when sharing sensitive documents.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    The first trial found him guilty and he got sent to prison.
    Appeals found the first trial to be faulty and thus ordered a retrial.
    The retrial found him innocent.

    All this means that the 13 years he spent in prison was an injustice and that he should thus be compensated. The government refusing to compensate is continuing the injustice.

    Really, it’s not friggen hard.

    • John Shears 12.1

      DTB It’s not hard for you or me and a lots of others ,
      but none so blind as they that cannot see?

    • Richard Christie 12.2

      More than that.
      The system in these cases deliberatly makes the issue of compensation to be all about the wrongfully convicted, i.e. he/she could still have done it.

      It shifts focus away from the system’s own errors and culpability.

      It’s a confidence trick.

    • Chooky 12.3

      +100 DTB…I always thought he was innocent and it was a setup…either through incompetence or to cover up something rather big…

  13. McFlock 13

    It seems pretty simple to me:

    If the legal sysem finds that someone screwed up enough to quash a major conviction, you’d better be damned sure exactly who was the victim of the injustice, because “compensating” the wrong party simply increases the injustice.

  14. Tautuhi 14

    This has been a very weird case from start to finish, and the level of professionalism by all parties has been substandard, right from the start with the Police securing of the crime scene?

    • aerobubble 14.1

      Agreed. No cop, no prosecuctor, no defence lawyer, no judge has lost a thing. Low standards, and no cost. Bain lost his home, his family, his inheritance, his liberyy for over a decade, and all he has to show for is a not guilty conviction. Had he been declared not guilty first atleast he could have been sued civilly years ago. Even thats denied him. Its a very bad outcome that the system can walk away unscathed and an not guilty citizen gets to whether those costs outlined above.

  15. Brigid 15

    It is hardly David Bain’s fault that the prosecution chose not to gather sufficient scientific evidence to prove his guilt or innocence and the defence were denied the opportunity.

    If he is not not guilty enough to be awarded compensation, doesn’t that mean all those found not guilty since the passing of this latest legislation (determining a persons right to compenation) are just as likely, guilty.
    Our justice system is a farce.

  16. linda 16

    i think david bain and rest will need to wait for change government
    there is no justice from a corrupt entity

  17. Tautuhi 17

    This Government does not want to pay out, they would rather fund some more reports and Inquiries, what a shambles, however it gives the media something to write about to put in their rubbish rags.

    Admire Joe Karam for his patience and tenacity.

  18. Jollo 18

    I used to be fairly ambivalent on the whole affair until I was reading a report by Sir Thomas Thorpe, IMO the most brilliant legal and justice Judge we have ever had. He examined in great detail all the alleged miscarriages of justice at the time, and found at least 19 wrongful convictions.

    David Bain wasn’t one of them.

    He examined both sides in excruciating detail and his conclusion was that without a doubt, David had murderded his entire family. So while there were mistakes in the police investigation, we would have a situation where someone has committed a brutal mass murder, not just walking free after only 13 years but becoming a multi millionaire to boot.

    Hes already won one lottery in walking free.

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  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    5 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    6 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    7 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
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    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    7 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Says it all
    What's wrong with Labour? The end of yesterday's RNZ health debate says it all: Do you have private health insurance? Reti: "I do." Hipkins: "Yes, I do." Hipkins is Minister of Health. But it turns out that he won't be waiting in the queue with the rest ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
    New Zealanders across the country are set to mark history as part of the Māori Language Week commemorations led by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori this year.  Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says the initiative will mark history for all the right reasons including making te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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