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The Taji report

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, October 13th, 2015 - 17 comments
Categories: accountability, iraq, john key, war - Tags: , , , , ,

Key is recently back from visiting troops at the Taji base in Iraq (you’ve probably seen the pictures). Credit to him for going, like Helen Clark’s trip to Afghanistan, I think it is fitting that someone who decides to send troops to a dangerous environment fronts up there personally. And you can’t blame him for making a media circus of it, that’s politics.

However this report, which came out shortly before Key’s visit, raises some issues:

Serious problems at Taji military base in Iraq – US report

Incomplete equipment and substandard living conditions for trainees are among the problems dogging an Iraqi military base visited by Prime Minister John Key, a critical American report says.

The report, released before Key’s visit and which assesses efforts by US and coalition forces to train Iraqi soldiers, said equipment provided by American forces to Iraqi army brigades training at sites like Taji would at times arrive incomplete, meaning it was “not fully mission-capable”.

At Taji, soldiers were living inside schools run by Iraqi security forces with water and power that was not turned on due to supposed funding issues. …

Read the article for more details – it sounds like Taji is a fiasco. Does Key know? Does he care? When questioned it seems that, as usual, Key is conveniently ignorant:

John Key unaware of Defence report on Taji camp

Prime Minister John Key said he was not aware of a US Defense report which raised concerns about the equipment and conditions at the Taji Military Camp before he visited Iraq last week.

New Zealand trainers were among those the team had spoken to. The report said that the trainers had raised concerns about the living conditions for the Iraqi soldiers, saying the water and power were not on and it was distracting trainees from their work.

“As a result the trainees’ poor living conditions have had a significant effect on soldiers’ morale.”

Key should have known about this report, and should be fully and honestly briefed on the conditions at the camp where he has sent NZ troops. It’s just too cute for him to play the ignorance card yet again.

17 comments on “The Taji report”

  1. Lucy 1

    But surely this is how you get soldiers killing trainers if the trainer conditions are seen by badly paid soldiers as so much better than theirs the level of resentment blows up so ISIL is able to take advantage. Have our defence force really learnt nothing from their multiple failed missions starting in Korea, and going through Vietnam, East Timor, and so on.

  2. shorts 2

    Key should have know or at least someone should have known the conditions are a disaster for those being trained and our own personal – I guess its asking too much for the public to be informed there are problems and the solutions “going forward”

    instead we get Key the actor perfecting his ideal role https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmzsWxPLIOo

    Would be nice for a change for the media to try and take him to task over the allegations… instead we’ve got a bunch of puff pieces most centred around the trip to and from Iraq

    Needless to say it was going to be a disaster from the get go because that is the entire strategy (it seems) in the middle east and everywhere the US and her enablers go – as a friend maybe we could tell them to sort their shit out with regards to their endless wars of vengeance and hate

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Although the shortcomings are severe, they also fall into the realm of detail. Minor operational shortcomings in amongst the massive strategic failure which is US intervention in Iraq.

  4. Paul G. Buchanan 4

    Timing of the public release of the report was coincident with Key’s PR jaunt to Taji, but the truth is that coalition partners were given it in advance. Key says that it was Brownlee’s job to handle the matter, but perhaps Brownlee was too busy working the panda exchange to give his boss a head’s up that all is not well at Taji–and that is just inside the wire.

    More worrisome perhaps is the fact that it does not appear as if the NZDF is undertaking its own independent review of the “training mission.” Regardless of what allies say, it would seemingly behoove the NZDF to get its own grip on how things are going and assess the viability of the mission over the duration of the two year commitment.

    In light of this, it seems that from the get-go this deployment had mission creep written all over it. The PM has already started to hint as much. That suggests to me that the decision is already a fait acompli and it is the details that are being worked out at the moment. Although I can see the merits of a re-defined mission (say, on the use of the SAS and deployment of PRTs in liberated zones should that happen), I would hope that the Opposition gets out in front of this before the done deal results in a more open ended and ill-defined deeper involvement in what could turn out to be another strategic quagmire.

    • Grindlebottom 4.1

      In light of this, it seems that from the get-go this deployment had mission creep written all over it. The PM has already started to hint as much.

      Only comments from the PM that I’ve heard/seen have been to the effect that he thinks the two year deployment is “about right” and that he wasn’t planning to extend it. Where has he been hinting otherwise Paul?

      • Paul G. Buchanan 4.1.1

        Over the last month, during his trip to the UN General Assembly meetings, he has made public statements to the effect that he would consider sending the NZDF to Syria if the circumstances warranted. His comments were reported at the time.

        • Grindlebottom 4.1.1.1

          Oh, ok thanks.Not that it matters much but I’d have classed sending troops to Syria as a new mission rather mission creep.

          1) The US has no viable “moderate” opposition to usefully support who aren’t islamists themselves, except maybe the Kurds in the North, who probably won’t extend their reach much beyond where they are now. (The Turks probably don’t mind YPK fighting ISIS but wouldn’t like them gaining much more territory, might withdraw consent for the US to use Turkish airbases if they did, and might even intervene militarily to weaken them.)

          2) ISIL seems to have a pretty firm grip on the extensive territory it currently holds. They seem to be the biggest, best organised, best-funded and most internally cohesive opposition to Assad. And they seem to still have no shortage of new recruits or morale problems despite small defeats in the North, attacks by other opposition groups, and now Russian as well as US airstrikes. Still difficult to defeat I reckon.

          3) Russian airstrikes on non-ISIS opposition groups, and Russian and Iranian military assistance to Assad are suddenly allowing him to retake territory previously lost, after he was pretty much on the ropes last month. Putin has pretty comprehensively defeated a very poorly conceived and executed US strategy aimed at removing Assad. They’re still lost about what to do about it, aren’t they? Putin is toughing them out.

          At the moment I reckon Assad stands a good chance of coming out the eventual winner, and if not, it’ll be some form of fundamentalist islamic regime(s) with maybe a separate Kurdish state up North.

          I’d hate to see any of our troops get anywhere near this “everybody loses” nightmare. Surely Key wouldn’t be that mad? This is the only thing I could find on what he’s recently said about this issue:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/71872542/new-zealand-undecided-on-supporting-australia-action-in-syria–john-key

          [Click to Edit | Delete] (9 minutes and 35 seconds)

          • Paul G. Buchanan 4.1.1.1.1

            I agree that the Western campaign against Syria is fraught and that Putin has trumped it. But remember that the core of the Daesh leadership are Iraqis and Iraq is as much if not more important to them than Syria. I find the NZ possibility of involvement in Syria, even if as little as a PRT in a hypothetical Western-controlled area, to be very problematic and hope that if the option is being considered that the down side be thought through. One of which is that a successful Russian offensive could well push Daesh back towards its Iraqi homeland (Anbar Province), where the NZDF is stationed.

            I differ with Western analysts in that I do not see Russian intervention in Syria as necessarily a bad thing. Russia has significant strategic interests in Syria, to include 3 listening posts (one under Daesh control), the naval base at Tartus and now the port, airfield and base at Latakia. As a result of Soviet era exchanges, it has over 100,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. It sells Syria most of its weapons and a significant amount of commodities. It therefore arguably has a stronger strategic interest in Syria than any Western nation, and has had that interest for 40 years.

            That means that it is not as much Assad who the Russians want to help as it is the political, military and diplomatic status quo that underpins his regime. Putin and his advisors know that a return to the status quo ante is impossible, but a regime that incorporates Sunni interests while defending those of Alawites, Assyrians, Christians, Druze and other ethnic groups supportive of the Ba’athist state and of maintaining ties with Russia is worth fighting for. Assad may have to go for a post-conflict deal to be struck but his personal fortunes are not equal to those of the government that he leads and which will have to negotiate the transition to post-conflict rule.

            Since Assad’s military will be defeated if the Russians withdraw, and because the latter have limited military objectives beyond defending the coastal strip in which their interests are located, Russia’s military involvement can accelerate the resolution of the conflict, albeit on terms more favourable to them than to the West. That scenario may well be acceptable in light of the alternatives present at the moment, so it behooves the Wester coalition to work cooperatively with Russian military planners in order to achieve that end.

            Put another way. In order to play a strong hand down the road in determining the character of the next Syrian regime, the Russians have short-term upped the military ante and their stake in the conflict by committing weapons and troops in significant numbers. This not only defends Assad’s support base and allows his forces to regain some initiative in the conflict, but increases Russian leverage vis a vis the Western coalition arrayed against both Assad and Daesh in the event the tide turns against the rebels. The West may have to give up achieving the immediate removal of the former in order to achieve victory over the latter, and the latter may involve more fighting in Iraq than Syria given the Russian presence. But that is now the strategic equation that it is confronted with.

            NZ needs to think hard about an expansion or redefinition of the Taji mission in light of changing events on the ground in both Syria and Iraq. There may be room to do reconstruction work in Kurdish controlled areas of Syria and Iraq once the conflict stops or moves elsewhere. But that depends as much on Russian success as it does that of the anti-Daesh coalition, and one can only wonder if MFAT has spoken directly to the Russians about their views on the matter.

            • Grindlebottom 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Thought provoking analysis Paul. For the Western coalition to work co-operatively with Putin as you suggest, they’re going to first have to accept ongoing Russian airstrikes against all anti-Assad opposition forces, including some of those they’re supporting. He’s made no excuses for bombing all anti-Assad opposition groups, not just ISIS, labelling them all “terrorists”. And at the moment his public statements are all about describing the current Assad government as the legitimate government.

              I don’t see any basis for negotiation at present. I think Putin has all the cards.

              Interesting commentary on current situation here:
              http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/world/middleeast/syria-russia-airstrikes.html?_r=0

              If I was the US or Saudi government I’d still be nervous about providing any weapons to opposition groups and expecting some of them not to end up in ISIS hands.

              • Paul G. Buchanan

                Grindle:

                Indeed, there is much to be discussed before the major players will be willing to sit down to negotiate as equals on how to end the conflict. I also think that Iran has to be at the table, and that of itself will be a thorny issue.

                It is smart for Russia to target the non-Daesh rebels first, as that forces the West’s hand on continuing to support them. The US has already given up on training “moderate” rebels, although the CIA has upped its provision of Saudi-supplied TOW anti-armour munitions to them. That can help blunt the Russian backed Syrian Army offensive but does not change the overall equation down the road. Parts of what are now Syria will not be under Damascus control no matter how the political solution is achieved or what it looks like, but a roll-back on the non-Daesh rebels solidifies its hold on the areas where Russia has the most interest.

                At the point where the non-Daesh rebels (including the al Nusra front and its various off-shoots and spin-offs) have been removed or reduced as an existential threat to Assad’s forces, then the Russians can propose terms to (really) join the fight against Daesh. The Turks are now more disposed to redouble their involvement in that effort thanks to the Ankara bombings (if only as a matter of sovereign pride), so the game is shaping up to be one in which Putin and Assad’s forces eventually work a pincer move with the Turks and West on Daesh.

                The fact that parts of the Iraqi government are now extolling the virtues of the “decisive” Russian approach suggests that they might be open to inviting Russia to join the anti-Daesh struggle in Iraq as well. I am not sure that the Russians would buy into that proposal but the very mention of such a possibility is bound to sharpen the Western focus on conflict resolution in both countries.

                The fly in the ointment are the Kurds, who the Turks are targeting as much as they are Daesh but who have been close allies of the West (the US in particular) well before the Syrian civil war and who have de facto autonomy in Kurdistan Iraq. The West will have to convince the PKK to stop attacks on Turkish targets in exchange for something tangible if the eventual pincer movement against Daesh is to be successful and a parallel or subsequent post-conflict political compromise agreed to. That is going to be a hard nut to crack.

                All of which is to say that there is a lot of jockeying for position yet to come and one can only hope that the NZ government understands that fact.

                • Grindlebottom

                  Very plausible.

                  I’m not sure who started the current round of PKK-Turkish conflict. But I would’ve thought the PKK had most the disincentive. There may be no need for the Turks to do anything more than they are doing now with the Kurds in Northern Syria than ensure they don’t lose any of the ground they already hold. I honestly can’t see Turkey agreeing to any significant expansion of the area held by the Kurds. They have such a long-standing visceral aversion to the establishment of a Kurdish state.

                  It could be enough to allow YPK to hold its existing territory and just allow an eventual Russian-Western-Iranian-Hezbollah coalition to squeeze ISIS up against that bulwark and batter them to death or back into Iraq.

                  I think NZ should stay the hell away from the whole mess. I can’t see any stability coming to Syria for years if ever. I don’t think fundamentalist Islamism can be put back in the box in countries with significant minority or dominant Islamic populations now. Secular states will have to struggle against it.

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      Paula Webstock is toooooo busy to do an evaluation of NZDF mission to Iraq.

  5. Smilin 5

    Seems Key knows SFA about anything to do with NZ that means anything to the ordinary person
    I am asking him to stop behaving like a brain damaged drug abuser and respect the intelligence of the ordinary Kiwi to see the truth about what he thinks we dont know
    Why we have to put up with his arrogant spin every time he comments to the media is very insulting to the office he holds

    • Gangnam Style 5.1

      & why do the media support him, Andrea Vance tweets a fact like that yet won’t criticise Key in print. Sycophant.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Remember she may submit a story to to her editors, but its up to them to publish all or even parts of it.
        The goalkeepers would be Bernadette Courtney, Editor in Chief or her deputy Oskar Alley.

      • Morrissey 5.1.2

        What do you expect of someone who strung along Peter Dunne, leading the poor bow-tied git to think he was in for a chance?

  6. savenz 6

    Hey it’s not about the war it is about going through the motions to be ‘part of the club’.

    Bit like TPP.

    Even if you are such a blip in the club that you might be better standing on your own feet and making more friends.

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    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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