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The SAS, the media, and Key

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, January 24th, 2010 - 50 comments
Categories: afghanistan, john key, Media - Tags:

I don’t think the SAS should be in Afghanistan. That said, there are good reasons why the activities of the SAS on deployment are meant to be kept secret. Both the media and John Key have behaved incredibly irresponsibly.

Do the publishing of pictures and the name of Willi Apiata after he apparently took part in combat alongside Afghan special forces in Kabul place him and the other SAS soldiers in greater danger? Well, the experts all seem to think so and I have no reason to doubt them. Certainly, I would think that Apiata would be a high value target for the Taliban. It’s hard to see how the deployment of the SAS to Afghanistan would remain politically tenable if Apiata were killed and the Taliban would know that. The experts are saying this will affect the SAS’s operations due to the greater danger they face.

When the picture was first published online by the Herald, it didn’t include Apiata’s name. Apparently, the media thought it was him and asked Key if would confirm it. Which he did. Key says “At the end of the day, I’m not going to stand up and lie to the New Zealand media. If it’s Willie Apiata, it’s Willie Apiata. It was pretty clear to anyone who knows the man that that’s who it was.”

You’re the PM, John. Act like it. If there’s something you can’t tell the media for security reasons say so and don’t tell them. That’s what Clark would have done. You should have said ‘guys, if you publish these pictures and claim one of those people is a national hero you make the SAS a greater target. I’m asking that you will act responsibly’. I doubt the media would have run the pictures in their paper edition or Apiata’s name.

The problem has been that, right from the start, Key has kept on giving the media titbits of information that ought to be kept secret. He gave little hints about what the SAS is up to. He went so far as to say that the SAS would be training a special Afghan commando force but not participating in combat actions with them. It appears that was another lie and it only served to make the media even more interested in signs that the SAS was involved in combat. Again, Key should simply have refused to give any information on what the SAS was doing and refused to confirm any reports from elsewhere. That’s been the practice for decades and for good reason. Key should have shown some responsibility.

So should the media. John Roughan’s attitude – “When you’re on patrol in Kabul we don’t think he’s preserved from being photographed.” – is frankly incredible. I’m glad this plonker wasn’t around during World War 2: ‘when you’re all getting on boats to head to Normandy we don’t think you’re preserved from being photographed’. Informing the public is important but not if it means putting people’s lives in greater danger.

But that’s the media for you. They don’t know the meaning of the word responsibility. This is why Key needed to display some leadership and strength from the start. He ought to have refused to give any information of SAS activities and requested that the media not reveal any. Sometimes being a leader means telling people they can’t have what they want. But Key isn’t that kind of Prime Minister. Not that kind of man. I think he still doesn’t understand the import of his words as Prime Minister and the duty of care that comes with that. He’s too desperate to be liked and keep everyone happy.

50 comments on “The SAS, the media, and Key”

  1. illuminatedtiger 1

    Have a look at this http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3257154/Key-broke-pledge-on-Kiwis-in-battle – Key mightn’t think so but he has still lied to the NZ public.

  2. Lew 2

    I can’t get concerned about this. Operational security is not so fragile in Afghanistan that it trumps the need for political transparency over what our military is up to. In some cases it would, but this isn’t one of them, in my view. Appeals to Normandy (which was) obscure this distinction.

    I agree with the general critique of Key’s relationship with the media and important official information, though.

    L

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    “But that’s the media for you.”

    Sho nuff.

    I know that the NZ media can’t afford to send someone over to actually report, and that it’s a complicated and difficult story that they haven’t covered in any real way, meaning that an established simplistic narrative is what they have to base any stories on, but really.

    That this little dust up is about all we have heard about Afghanistan is appalling. We’ve just had 6 weeks of summer fluff in the media. Our political journo’s have had nothing to write about and have been freed from the more intensive news cycle that exists at other times in the year.

    It would have been nice if some of them had used the time to do some in depth researched reporting on various stories that need it. Like strategic developments in the places we have deployed our military.

    Some interesting stuff on the US State Depts latest efforts here , details from a leaked document here , Pakistan no longer playing ball here , and so on and so forth

    • bill 3.1

      I don’t quite see why ‘being freed from the more intensive news cycle’ is a necessary prerequisite for putting news into reporting.

      It’s not as though they put news into reporting during the ‘intensive news cycle’ when they are reporting on topics they are familiar and comfortable with.

      And it’s not as though people like you or me are not capable of becoming quite knowledgeable about so called difficult and complicated stories even although we hold down full time, time consuming jobs or whatever.

      Journalists have no excuse and should be given none.

      Even if their employer would not print substantive news pieces, why are these people not using their investigative know how, contacts and word craft to put substantive commentary on blogs ( either their own or on the likes of the standard)?

      Is it because they lack all the necessary skill set that would set a journalist apart from a lackey?

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        Yeah, didn’t mean to imply that we don’t need better, or that there is an excuse. I don’t know, they are what they do I guess.

        One more link for those interested. real long, with attached papers on where and how the hearts and minds strategy is going; a proposal and a dissent. the blog post itself is pretty damning, the strategy itself is potentially related to what we have signed our SAS up for.

        Yet another blog worth bookmarking, both for the commentary that is there, and for the linked articles and documents:

        Petraeus and McChrystal Drink Major Gant’s Snake Oil</a

      • BLiP 3.1.2

        Is it because they lack all the necessary skill set that would set a journalist apart from a lackey?

        Yes. And the reason for that is the training has been taken over by the industry itself. The last thing the industry wants are people who think for themselves and hold true to the ideals of the Fourth Estate.

  4. felix 4

    Either Bill summed it up pretty well here or I’m just too cynical for this kind of thing.

  5. These jackasses did it, to sell papers.

  6. Gooner 6

    You’re the PM, John. Act like it. If there’s something you can’t tell the media for security reasons say so and don’t tell them. That’s what Clark would have done.

    Except when you tell lies to the media to get the police commissioner removed from his job.

    http://sirhumphreys.blogspot.com/2005/09/clark-leaked-lies-to-sst-after-shed.html

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Hey! Look! Over there! Aiiiieeeee!!

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Actually Gooner has a point in an assbackwards sort of way.

      I recall an interview with HC on NatRad some years ago when she admitted that she regretted her actions over the Peter Doone affair. As she explained it, she had spent many years in Opposition working hard to court media attention, and the habit of being openly available to journalists at all times. Of course the Peter Doone affair arose literally within the first few weeks of her taking office as PM, and in hindsight she realised that she had failed to change her handling of the media… that she openly answered questions that were being put to her, as if she was still the Leader of the Opposition, rather than taking into account the new realities of being PM. It was a mistake HC learned from.

      It’s not unrealistic to suggest that Key has made a similar sort of mistake here… only the consequences could well be far more severe… and after 14 months on the job as PM, I would have thought this an unforced error he should not have made.

  7. Blue 7

    The Herald published a photo of two SAS guys. It didn’t name them or give any specific information about where they were or what they were doing. Stuff published the photo on their site later, but again, no names or details.

    Then Key stuck his big oar in, and named one of them as Willie Apiata. And every media outlet in the country could now name Apiata and publish the photo because the PM himself basically gave them carte blanche to do so.

    He should have just shut it and said he couldn’t comment on security matters. If he had done that, no media outlet would have named him, because they couldn’t be sure about his identity.

    If the VC now has a target on his back, it’s thanks to Key, not the media.

  8. BLiP 8

    Ooops. Having just slagged off journalists for not doing their job, it would seem Kerry Williamson at the DomPost has made it quite clear that John Key lied through his teeth when he said; “I’m not going to lie to the media”. Hat tip, Tumeke.

    Before the election it must be remembered that John Key also said:

    I’ll be New Zealand’s first Jewish Prime Minister . . . . . . we apply Christian principles in our household . . . . . . actually, I’m a bit of an agnostic”

    As was pointed out yesterday, John Key will say whatever he thinks we want to hear. Coward.

  9. Anne 9

    I think Blue has summed it up neatly.

    It’s yet another example of Key’s inability to think appropriately when the occasion demands it.

  10. Blue 10

    It really gets my goat that this has been let slide. Everyone has got stuck into the media over this, which, while admittedly an enjoyable pastime, is completely missing the point.

    This is a huge blunder from Key. His first really big stuff up on national security. And no one is picking up on it.

    We have a loose-lipped PM who can’t be trusted to keep his mouth shut with sensitive information.

    Shouldn’t someone be paying more attention to that?

  11. TB 11

    On a lighter note. Those are two serious looking dudes in that photo….The Herald editor must have balls of steel….. or be extremely stupid… to risk pissing those guys off.

  12. todd 12

    Either Im a fucking genious or Eddie,you are bloody blind.who the hell did you think the pic was?.

    • Eddie 12.1

      It’s irrelevant whether it was obviously Apiata or not. Key shouldn’t have confirmed. Or denied, for that matter.

  13. todd 13

    Oh wait a minute,I didnt think, its Chris Carter in disguise.

  14. Horse 14

    Wasn’t the original photo picked up because it was published in the NY Times? With the soldiers identified as being from NZ? I’m not sure if the photo was available on the web at the Times, but whining at the NZ media over this seems so…… pre-internet.

  15. Rich 15

    A cynic would think that Apiata is being set up to be killed in Afghanistan and provide a casus belli for further NZ involvement (avenging dead heroes).

    I don’t think that in a democracy one can suppress such photos. Even if the NZ media didn’t run it, it’s such a good photo that the agencies would pick it up as a file pic. What else could they do – shoot the photographer?

    • Lew 15.1

      Substitute ‘cynic’ for ‘raving paranoiac conspiracy nut’ and you might have an argument.

      Agree completely regarding the photo, though.

      L

  16. reddy 16

    Surely the war in Afghanistan is now being set up as publicity for the government?

    This changes the narrative of the war. It is now being used as a publicity stunt. Kiwi elite commando hero kicks arse!

    All other questions about whether we should be there, if the SAS should be there not our reconstruction team that was successful, or if the war is proving a hard sell in the U.S….

    to go out on a limb it is war porn. We see the soldier and the gun with a determined look on his face. We don’t see carnage.

    Would we glamourise the armed offenders squad in this way?

  17. Jenny 17

    Is Corporal Willie Apiata New Zealand’s, real life version, of Colonel Miles Quarich?

  18. regardless of them both being kiwi or it being Willie Apiata, it’s a stunning photo and you can tell he posed for it cos he’s staring right down the barrell.

  19. First of all,

    John Key doesn’t lie to the press? Lord Ashcroft, shares scandal, Bankers trust, Krieger anyone?

    Second,

    Do you guys read the newspapers at all? Apiata was given $ 35.000,- worth of press training paid for by defence. The guy is a bought and paid for propaganda tool. He was taught how to slomo towards any camera pointed at him whenever and give them a Rambo stare while shaking his carefully coiffed warrior manes.

    Deuh!

    I wonder how many Maori kids will want to be just like him. That should get rid of some of the unemployed young males who might get angry in the near future when they see more of their Iwi’s land get grabbed what with all the mining being planned as we speak.

    Captcha: MISUNDERSTANDING. Yeah, right.

    • Bill 19.1

      $35 000?

      Makes you wonder just how slow the guy might be on the uptake, dunnit?.

      You think they should do a NZ Next Top War Porn Model comp and recoup that training outlay through the advertising revenue? Maybe Colgate would be interested in sponsoring….”Kinder Killer Smiles” or “Death Smiles Whiter With Colgate” or whatever….

      Maybe Ron Mark could be on the jury? John too, seeing as how he has that gushing school boy enthusiasm thing going…should resonate well with the target audience.

      • travellerev 19.1.1

        That or he gets paid a ton to star as the NZ Rambo. I mean what an ad for the NZ army, eh?

        Excellent idea and while we’re at it we might as well do a who’s the cutest army babe as in those women who go for soldiers and military types. LOL.

    • Tony 19.2

      @ traevllerev: I doubt the army spent as much as you claim on media training for Apiata, that was probably the total cost for “media training” as you put it for a number of people, of which Apiata was but one. Organisations often have their staff undertake media training, for a variety of reasons, none of which are sinister. However it is true that Apiata was given media training, as any good employer would, and should have, given the situation. It is important to note that Apiata didn’t ask to be awarded the VC and I strongly doubt he could have refused the VC. The decision to award the VC is made by the Prime Minister. That Apiata deserved the VC is beyond doubt.

      The mana and dignity of Apiata’s and my people, demanded he be given the recognition and respect that he was given. Describing Apiata dismissively as “Rambo” is offensive to him and our people. Being the liberal white racist that you are this is probably something beyond your understanding. Oh and before you ask “Yessir I is one stroppy nigger”

      BTW – Are you really so stupid that you think that 9/11 was an inside job?

      Catchpa: STUPID WHITE PEOPLE!

      • travellerev 19.2.1

        Tony,

        The amount described was a quote from a New Zealand mainstream media. In fact I link to that Newspaper.

        By the way if you are really so stupid to believe that 19 Saudi young men can hijack four air planes with box cutters, fly around for a couple of hours without any intervention from the biggest most well equipped air force in the world, crash into two towers and collapse three towers of that complex into a pyroclastic flow in freefall speed (Never happened before and never happened after) and all because a madman in a cave in Afghanistan told them too I got a real nice piece of rainforest in the Sahara for sale.

        • travellerev 19.2.1.1

          Added to that:

          If you link to my blog you will find that I have no disrespect for Willy Apiata’s courage and achievements.

          But if you think I’m going to shut up about the whole (white man’s) use of the man as a propaganda tool because that might be construed as racist you’re sadly mistaken.

          I’m not a man by the way in my case the captcha should have been stupid white woman but seeing as it comes from a Maori naive enough to believe the white man’s trash and lies I will not take that to serious.

          Have a nice day

          • Tony 19.2.1.1.1

            “…. a Maori naive enough…” Wow you really are racist aren’t you? No doubt you think that us brown fellas should just sit in the corner and be quiet, let the liberal white “woman” (I was going to say person but you’ve made the point that your’e a woman) who knows better do the talkin for us. It must grate to have a “brown fella” talkin back to ya.

            What you wrote earlier about Apiata was an intended insult by you towards him and our people and therefore racist. You trample on our mana like we are dirt. BTW the head of the army is Maori, is he just another brown fella doin the white mans work? Consider yourself lucky, if you insulted us 170 years ago we would have hit you over the head and put you in the hungi, haha only joking… the old people said that silly white women didn’t taste very nice.

            At least with right-wing white people (men & woman) they call a spade a spade. Liberal white “women” like you are just as racist but you don’t have the guts to say it to our face.

            As for “Arab Men” not being able to mastermind and carry out the 9/11 attacks, are you are saying that non white people are incapable are incapable of such a thing? you nothing of Arab history. As for how the buildings collapsed its simple – after the planes flew into the buildings gravity and the nature of the construction took care of the rest. My friends watched the planes hit the buildings from across the river.

            BTW – you describe the teleban as freedom fighters! They would rape & mutilate you in the blink of an eye.

            • felix 19.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t even believe that you are maori.

              If you were, you’d be the first I’ve come across with your level of written language who can’t spell “hangi”.

              I call shenanigans on “Tony”.

              (captcha: “failed” Ha!)

              • Tony

                Sorry….my level of written language is too good to be maori? Who are you decide on who is and who isn’t maori? And you’re commenting on a spelling mistake… as my daughter would say “like OMG….get a life”.

              • felix

                No, your level of written language is too good to not be able to spell “hangi” unless you had no connection whatsoever with maori culture.

                You’ve been rolled. Now fuck off.

            • travellerev 19.2.1.1.1.2

              Jeez, hungi. LOL

      • pollywog 19.2.2

        Rambo was the man and being likened to him hardly constitutes an insult !!!

        i cant get over the power of that picture though , even more so when you consider who it is.

        so basically, Willie and his mate have just flushed out the enemy, dealt with them and are now returning to base. meanwhile a french photographer happens to be there so Willie walks straight towards him staring down the camera.

        legendary stuff

        • quenchino 19.2.2.1

          You have to get the fact that he is likely to have just killed a bunch of people.

          As with almost all the casualties of war; most were just the brothers and sons of very ordinary folk, living very ordinary lives…. now scarred by yet more deprivation and grief.

          • pollywog 19.2.2.1.1

            You have to get the fact that he is likely to have just killed a bunch of people.

            yeah i get that and thats what contributes to the power and intrigue of the picture, cos you have no idea what Willie’s thinking, only that this is how he looks when he does his job.

            its for others to determine the morality of his actions and propagandize it how they see fit. he’s cool with it, it’s an occupational hazard he takes on.

            to live by the sword, and you can tell he’s fully prepared to die by it too, with absolutely no fear.

            mean maori mean:)

            • Bill 19.2.2.1.1.1

              Porn…….wanker…….

            • felix 19.2.2.1.1.2

              cos you have no idea what Willie’s thinking

              Uh huh.

              to live by the sword, and you can tell he’s fully prepared to die by it too, with absolutely no fear.

              So now you can tell. Goodo.

              Ditto bill.

            • Bill 19.2.2.1.1.3

              @polywog

              In your eyes the guy is a hero….a ‘mans man’…and all the rest of that hero stuff.

              Ok. Fine.

              But you still going to idolise the soldiers who will return traumatised and incapable of readjusting to what for us passes as ‘normality’ if and when the strange little party in their head blows?

              Or are you going to turn on them at that point, your cheap vicarious little thrill long forgotten, and demand max sentences as you decry them for not being man enough to hack it?

              Just wondering.

              • pollywog

                But you still going to idolise the soldiers who will return traumatised and incapable of readjusting to what for us passes as ‘normality’ if and when the strange little party in their head blows?

                been watching Rambo again huh Bill? You know thats just a movie eh not a documentary ?

                we already know Willie has no fear and accepts death because of his past actions. you dont get a VC for talking tuff on teh interwebz. you get it for being heroic !!!

  20. tc 20

    I feel for any responsible servant of the crown who have to bring this kind of sensitive information to the PM knowing what a PR driven individual he is.

    Much like the an incompetant manager who has to be kept in the loop, yet lacks the intellect to handle the info correctly and undermines/jepordises the potential outcomes.

    Corporate style gov’t brings corp style behaviour…….man at top not there on merit just pleasing to the various factions who have a say.

  21. ben 21

    If this web site ever gave Key credit for anything, then your advice might have meant something. But we all know had he said what you suggest, he’d have been accused of something else, double speak or treating the people like idiots, or something.

    Key simply said what was obvious. Don’t try to pretend the cat was not out of the bag.

    • You are absolutely right,

      John Key would have lied if he had had the chance. he always does and only comes clean when the cat is already out of the bag.

      Here he just followed what was in his diary and here he lies about his tranzrail shares just to mention a few.

      As he said in the end of the day he doesn’t lie to the press but only if they do their job and catch him out.

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    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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