The Treasury website hack that wasn’t

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, May 30th, 2019 - 168 comments
Categories: Economy, grant robertson, journalism, labour, making shit up, Media, national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

So yesterday we had peak media angst day and the media spent all day talking about how Simon Bridges said Grant Robertson said one thing and Grant Robertson said he said no such thing.

Why couldn’t they just actually analyse the evidence and make a call on it.  Instead of going through the he said he said charade.  After all what was said was pretty clear.

Tuesday night Gabriel Makhlouf said this:

Following this morning’s media reports of a potential leak of Budget information, the Treasury has gathered sufficient evidence to indicate that its systems have been deliberately and systematically hacked. 
 
The Treasury has referred the matter to the Police on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre.
 
The Treasury takes the security of all the information it holds extremely seriously. It has taken immediate steps today to increase the security of all Budget-related information and will be undertaking a full review of information security processes. There is no evidence that any personal information held by the Treasury has been subject to this hacking.

In response Grant said this:

This is extremely serious and is now a matter for the Police.

We have contacted the National Party tonight to request that they do not release any further material, given that the Treasury said they have sufficient evidence that indicates the material is a result of a systematic hack and is now subject to a Police investigation.

What New Zealanders care about are the issues that will be dealt with in the Wellbeing Budget on Thursday, and that is what we continue to be focussed on.”

So yeah Grant accused National of being in possession of hacked material.  This seems clear.

But yesterday morning Simon went all troppo on it and accused Labour of accusing National of being the hacker.

From Radio New Zealand:

Simon Bridges says the National Party has not been involved in any computer hacking and the government is “lashing out in a witch hunt”.

He said Finance Minister Grant Robertson was lying and smearing the National Party.

“Grant Robertson has made scurrilous, false allegations.”

Asked if he would resign if National was found to have hacked Treasury systems, Mr Bridges said: “That is not going to happen. You have my categorical assurance about that.”

Mr Bridges said it was “not his intention” to release any more information from the Budget today.

Well feck me.  Can someone point to where Robertson said that National had been involved in computer hacking?  Or sheep shagging for that matter.  Either claim has an equivalent amount of legitimacy.

This matters.  The media do us all a real disservice by engaging in this “he said, he said” stuff.  The world’s environment is being crushed because a tiny number of climate change deniers’ views is being presented as just as valid as those of a significant scientific consensus.

This morning Simon has promised to reveal how his party came into possession of the information. It looks like he may not have to.  The police have confirmed that a criminal hacking has not occurred.

From Radio New Zealand:

Treasury has confirmed that a feature in its website search tool was exploited by an unknown person or persons, but police have concluded this did not break the law.

The investigation found one of the IP addresses involved in the searches belonged to the Parliamentary Service.

In a statement released this morning, Treasury said a police investigation had concluded and they were not planning any further action.

But Treasury said the evidence showed “deliberate, systematic and persistent searching of a website that was clearly not intended to be public”.

“Evidence was found of searches that were clearly intended to produce results that would disclose embargoed Budget information. Three IP addresses were identified that performed (in the Treasury’s estimation) approximately 2000 searches, over a period of 48 hours, which pieced together the small amount of content available via the search tool.

“The IP addresses involved belonged to the Parliamentary Service, 2degrees and Vocus.”

The screen shots presented by Idiot Savant are the secret and confirm that parts of documents lodged in preparation of a go live application were visible through using the search function on the Treasury Website.

Makhlouf’s description of what happened needs to be reviewed.  He gave the clear impression that what had happened was continuous attempted log ins by someone without legitimate credentials.  He did not mention that the Treasury’s website’s search function was being used.  This was a major omission and gave an incorrect impression of what had happened.

Of course National’s behaviour is all grandstanding.  I would prefer to be hearing about what improvements to education, health and the environment the Government was planning to do.  Watching a couple of male politicians engage in a pissing competition seems to be a total waste of time.

But Simon is in the clear on this one.

Out in voter land do people care?  Most of us would prefer to hear about how the Government is addressing some pretty major problems, like child poverty, the health underspend, mental health or teachers’ salaries.

But I am sure that Simon will prefer that we concentrate on what was or was not said about him.

168 comments on “The Treasury website hack that wasn’t”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Makhlouf should now resign or be fired.

    • Sacha 1.1

      Wonder if the Irish will withdraw his appointment?

    • higherstandard 1.2

      'Makhlouf should now resign or be fired.'

      Heh…I remember the old days when people took responsibility. Long gone those days in most cases. He won't take any responsibility and you wonder if before going live with his comment he was instructed to do so ?

      Regardless he's off to another trough soon in Ireland so I doubt anything will happen to him.

      On a different note is it just me or do we seem to have an extraordinary number of what appear to be non NZ citizens heading up our ministries and QANGOs ?

    • Booker 1.3

      Don’t be stupid, someone with obvious malicious intent performs a dedicated 2000 searches to glean summary search results from a website and the head of the agency should lose their job?!

       I’ve worked on web design and work with a web team to update content in my current role. It’s obvious this “hack” relied on the intricacies of how the website indexing and switching from mock-up to live site functioned, something most people other than those directly doing the web updates wouldn’t be aware of.

      Not to mention we’re losing sight of the bigger picture here – so National gets to “announce” details of the budget, some of which were correct, some not, and do a few days before it was released anyway, just so they could try and put their own spin on it. Seriously, what’s the point? Even my partner, who doesn’t follow NZ politics too closely said it just seemed stupid and diminished National’s standing in her eyes. National don’t seem to realize their petty hits actually alienate potential voters.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.3.1

        Haven't watched the video from national have you?

        Sooooo intricate replacing "2018/2019" with "2019/2020" 

        Damn those delicately artistic file indexing protocols that change their pattern so regularly no one can keep up. 

        It could only be someone with advanced hacking skills who had a full keypad on their laptop keyboard

        • Shadrach 1.3.1.1

          TP it has been a real joy sitting back and watching a range of contributors here making absolute arses of themselves.  I've particularly enjoyed those who claim some IT knowledge pretending this was some vast international conspiracy.  Well the joke they all look now.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.3.1.1.1

            the dirty politics spread from grant robertson with accusations flying around of hacking.

            National couldn’t organise a meme properly, now they’re super l33t hackers who cracked through a government departments security. Pretty sure the gcsb would have something to say about that over and above lprents musings

        • Gabby 1.3.1.2

          I guess the natsies lacked the public spirit to let treasury know about this weakness tuppers.

        • Booker 1.3.1.3

          According to this article switching years in the url isn’t what happened: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/390846/budget-breach-didn-t-break-the-law-treasury

          They relied on searches turning up preview information in the search results, not switching years in the urls.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.3.1.3.1

            soooooooo intricate. 

            • Booker 1.3.1.3.1.1

              It required them to do 2000 searches over 48 hrs to glean and paste together enough detail. Pity there’s no reporters with half a brain who thought this through and asked Bridges how many person-hours of labour went into their amazing “scoop” of revealing somewhat accurate information which was going to be revealed in full 48 hrs later anyway.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                " I’ve worked on web design and work with a web team to update content in my current role. It’s obvious this “hack” relied on the intricacies of how the website indexing and switching from mock-up to live site functioned, something most people other than those directly doing the web updates wouldn’t be aware of."

                you've been proven wrong and now you're complaining that someone put the effort in? 

                 

                • Booker

                  I haven't been proven wrong – a mock-up website, used as a backup and as a sandbox for making web edits, can often use the same indexing system as the live site. I've worked on websites with this same set-up.

                  According the public info, this is how the Treasury website was set up. So that searches on the live site would bring up small snippets of preview info in the search results (because this is the index info shared by the mock-up and live site). National* therefore had to conduct enormous numbers of searches and collate all the small snippets into one in order to have enough info to "scoop" the release. It must have taken hours.

                  * because let's face it, despite Bridges initially claiming they had nothing to do with the "hack" and got their info from a leak, later it became obvious from Bridges own admissions that wasn't the case at all

    • Jimmy 1.4

      I think he's going anyway so will probably be resigning and just leaving a bit earlier.

  2. Sacha 2

    Stuff's story adds that the SSC is now involved: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113109311/no-further-police-action-on-budget-leaks

    State Services Commissioner Peters Hughes said "unauthorised access to confidential budget material is a very serious matter."

    "Mr Makhlouf has asked me to investigate and I am considering my options. This is a matter of considerable public interest and I will have more to say as soon as I am in a position do so."

    "This is an important issue because it goes to trust and confidence in the Public Service and in the security of government information," said Hughes.

    "The inquiry will seek to understand exactly what has happened so that it doesn't happen again."

    • alwyn 2.1

      Did you happen to see this other story on "leaks" in the Herald?

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12235784

      Treasury officials were dishing out copies of the Budget to journalists before the lock-up even started. Will they be describing all the journalists as criminals receiving stolen property?

      I used to deal with Treasury years ago. That was back in the days when they had a very good Secretary in Dr Graham Scott. They always seemed to be very professional. Clearly the standards have slipped badly. 

  3. BM 3

    Was Makhlouf’ leaned on by Robertson?

    Going by this Newshub article everyone in Treasury knew the 'Hack" was bullshit so why did Makhlouf’  run the hack story?

    My guess is governmental pressure, to try and shut down Bridges.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/exclusive-human-error-that-led-to-treasury-budget-information-access-well-known-source.html

    • Sacha 3.1

      As I noted on the other thread, verifying who owned the IP addresses may have been easier for Police to do promptly without revealing the capabilities of DPMC's own IT security team – who are the ones who recommended Treasury bring in the police.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Tova adds:

      Newshub understands a data management team at Treasury was directly but not deliberately responsible for the botch-up.

      Yep. Someone did not do their job properly, and others did not catch the mistake.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        So a treasury IT team accidentally published a web-page containing budget summaries?  Someone outside treasury discovered this & spread it around?  Treasury misdiagnosed their publication as a hack?  Seems somewhat Alice in Wonderland.

        Perceptions of wrong-doing by curious members of the public &/or the Nats now seem to have no connection to reality…

        • Sacha 3.2.1.1

          The indexing was wrongly linked with the public-facing search function. Then that function was used 2000 times in 48 hours from 3 different IP addresses, two of which are with home internet providers.

          • Dennis Frank 3.2.1.1.1

            Hmm.  I'd like to see what LPrent makes of this.  2000 attempts is clear evidence of organised hacking to me, when only from three origins.  Still, unless technical evidence proves that Treasury did not publish the info, I will keep suggesting that it looks like they did so!

            Hacking means deliberately trying to break through a software defense to get protected info, eh?  If public servants did indeed fail to put the info behind software protection, those who got it did not hack…

            • Sacha 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Using a site's own search function is not really regarded as hacking, but it does not excuse the way the Nats handled this situation.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, even the folk discussing it on the AM show thought it made Bridges seem inadequate (the sports guy kept quiet at the time).

                From a wrong-doing perspective, looks like one or more public servants are guilty of acting in breach of whatever rules & ethics apply to pre-budget secrecy.  Focus on the Nats for exploiting their incompetence &/or immorality looks like a distraction strategy.

                Having spent a lifetime watching the left collude with the right in their ongoing attempt to cover-up such behaviour, I'll watch with interest to see if the wrong-doers are held accountable.  I suspect the coalition will apply the traditional cover-up, due to Labour's preference for operating a double standard:  punish such behaviour when the public does it, but protect public servants who do it.  Call it the Cave Creek syndrome…

                • Sacha

                  "one or more public servants are guilty of acting in breach of whatever rules & ethics apply to pre-budget secrecy."

                  No, they are merely guilty of bad IT design and implementation. Nothing unethical there. Just incompetent.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Odds on you being correct.  However, some public servants vote National.  I'm wondering if one or more was on the IT team, and made that page searchable by the public deliberately, not accidentally.  Claiming it was an accident, of course.

                    And tipped off a few like-minded friends to go looking.  Shit like this happens, always has.  Insiders, gaming the system.  In espionage, double-agents, and insiders with tribal loyalties, are part of the furniture.

                    • Sacha

                      I imagine the police would have been able to investigate any such possibility – though perhaps not quite so fast. NZ’s spy agencies would already have dossiers on anybody working in that team and their affiliations.

              • mpledger

                If it was one search and they found the data accidently then even-stevens.  They should have notified Treasury immediately.  Once they realised that they got confidential information via this method and then went on to do it 2000 times then that doesn't sound legal. 

                • Lucy

                  sounds very like the accessing of Labour Party records by National people. If I had to put money on it I would say this has been a Treasury practice for 10 years or so and someone in opposition staff previously worked at Treassury.

            • SHG 3.2.1.1.1.2

              I'd like to see what LPrent makes of this.

              Judging by his perspicacious analysis of Simon Bridges’s breaches of the Crimes Act yesterday, his advice would be worth what you paid for it.

              • alwyn

                Yes, that sounds about right. I saw that there was a post yesterday claiming that Bridges had received stolen information etc. I stopped reading at about line 3.

                Many years experience taught me that if you want reliable information on the Law you find a competent, disinterested Lawyer and ask them. Relying on the opinion of an layman with a strong interest in the matter is crazy.

                Well, I'm glad to see that I was right and that I haven't wasted half an hour of my life reading something that appears to have all been wrong. If that is a misrepresentation of what the author actually said I will now apologise to Lprent. The impression I got from the first few lines was that he thought Bridges had committed a crime though.

                Well, I guess that the start of the Budget speech is likely to be a bit delayed this afternoon. National will probably bring a point of order accusing Robertson et al of misleading the House and Trevor will have to go into full attack mode in refusing to allow Grant to be referred to the Privileges Committee

                • lprent

                  …a misrepresentation of what the author actually said I will now apologise to Lprent.

                  It was. And thank you.

                  There are two parts to receiving. First is if a crime was committed to obtain the property. Then if the property was received. The second was clear in this case. The first was likely to be true – and I still think that it was.

                  Basically stealing accidentially unprotected property from a computer (if that is what happened) is no different than someone saying that “I didn’t steal from that shop because it was unlocked at the time”.

                  Perhaps you should try to explain to me why you might think that it is different?

                  • alwyn

                    My apology was if you were not claiming a crime was committed. I didn’t want to misrepresent that fact if in fact you had said that there hadn’t been any crime by Bridges. It appears that you were however saying that.

                    The other thing I learned in my youth was that, insomuch as I am not a Lawyer, my own opinions on the subject are no better than anyone else who didn't qualify in the field. The only part of the law I learnt fairly well was the legislation relating to New Zealand tax law for oil production companies. Even there I always checked my assumptions with a Lawyer who was an expert in the field.

                    So no, I'm not going to give my own opinions on the topic. I will defer however to the views of Professor Geddis as expressed on Morning Report today and to the fact that the Police have dropped their inquiry so quickly. Both seem to be of the view that no crime has been committed. But what would they know?

                    • lprent

                      if you were not claiming a crime was committed.

                      Nope. You're going for a binary choice for something that is currently a grey area in local legal terms.

                      I didn’t say that there WAS a crime. What I was saying was that several crimes may have been committed, one consequent on another.  If grabbing accidentally unsecured files from a computers system for a dishonest purpose is a crime or if the files had been removed by someone unauthorised – then receiving copies of those files is also a crime.

                      The problem is that s249 and s252 haven't been fully tested in the courts. For the question of files or private areas that were accidentally left unsecured – currently it is the wild west out there. What is 'benefit'. What is a 'dishonest purpose'.

                      I'd like to get a court case in to test that because it would be of great benefit for the entire computer industry here (and overseas). The reason that I'm so aware of this particular area of the law is because it is always coming up in my profession. I spend my life producing content (ie code) for computers.

                      I'll have a look at what Prof Geddis said.

                      But the police? Don't make me laugh. Their main criteria for charging has little to do with legal issues. It mostly has to do with having enough evidence to be very confident sure that they can secure a conviction in court.

                      When it comes to any area of the statute that is grey and untested the risk levels go up pretty and they usually won't take such cases to court. Which is why we have had these clauses about computer crimes in the Crimes act for so long in a legally ambiguous state.

                      Not to mention that generally the police would have to be regarded as being computer illiterates at just about every level – including the computer forensics place just up the road from my place in Grey Lynn. 

                      Of course if that did result in Simon Bridges getting charged with receiving them I'm got going to shed any tears. After all he is a lawyer and should be aware of the risk in that this is a grey area. 

                       

                  • infused

                    Well we now know what happened.

                    The documents were not actually available. The search engine indexed part of the documents and displayed that data in a search result. This answers why so many searches were done, to get that part of the document.

                    So, was anything recieved?

                  • Ian Macdonald

                    I agree with Lprent. When the National Party received the budget material by whatever means they had the choice to hand it back or break the budget embargo and use it to attempt to embarrass the government. So they continued to unlawfully disseminate it. Bridges is now cynically on the attack to divert from that reality. Dirty tricks of the worst kind and a planned strategy from beginning to end by constructing a mud bath to sully the budget announcements that Labour was to make. Trumpian strategy in its purest form and of the same class that Joyce and English used to lose the election for National with their budget hole lies. The people aren't just that stupid.

              • higherstandard

                'Judging by his perspicacious analysis of Simon Bridges’s breaches of the Crimes Act yesterday, his advice would be worth what you paid for it.'

                I'd pay exactly zilch for any legal advice from Lyn not that I believe he's taken an interest in making money in this area.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Did the person who found the material also attempt to hack the site in search of further material? That would be easy to ascertain. Is "attempted hacking" a thing?

    • Sacha 4.1

      Hammering the search engine is a different skillset than hacking.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        I suppose so, Sacha, but a person my have both skills. In any case, the issue lies with Bridges, in my opinion. His action in exploiting the 'found' material is sub-standard, in my view.

        • Sacha 4.1.1.1

          Any hacker will be able to use a search form, yes. Not so much the other way around.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.2

        Hammering the search engine is a different skillset than hacking.

        Hammering the search engine was just the means they used to exploit the security hole they'd found.  Finding the security hole and figuring out how to exploit it was the "hacking" part.  The skill sets and tools involved are less important than the intent and the outcome. In this case, the intent was to find and exploit a hole in Treasury's IT security, and the outcome was that one was found and exploited. To me, that's hacking.  And to the organisation that has the data stolen, it doesn't matter how the thieves stole it. 

        • Dennis Frank 4.1.2.1

          The other side of the coin:  the info was on a treasury web-page.  A web-page is public media, unless protected by software designed to make it private, right?  Seems to me treasury published that page – even if it was unintentional.  So, you can't say the info was stolen, can you?  No crime involved.

          • Psycho Milt 4.1.2.1.1

            Based on the news reports:

            Treasury did not publish the pages, the mistake was that their search engine indexed them.  The search engine displays a small amount of text from the document either side of the search term it found, and that was the security hole that was exploited.  

            A person would have to go to some effort to discover that the documents have been indexed by the search engine, would then find that access to the documents was blocked because they were confidential, and would then have to figure out that they could exploit the search engine's text display to 'reconstruct' the confidential document by bombarding the search engine with relevant search terms and collating the brief bits of text from the search results.  

            People are saying "Oh, that's not hacking," but those people are operating an overly-complicated definition of hacking.  A security mistake was exploited to get unauthorised access to private data, and for my money that's hacking.  Who cares how difficult it was for the hacker?

        • Gabby 4.1.2.2

          Or the hole they knew about already from a natsy stay behind operative in treasury.

      • joe90 4.1.3

        Hammering the search engine is a different skillset than hacking.

         

        TBF, skulking in a back yard going window to window seeking an unfastened one to enter is rather like using a rock to break one to enter.

        edit: I see Adrian has made the point. But hey, intent.

      • Rae 4.1.4

        Is it fair enough to ask if this security weakness has been around for a long time, as in say, pre 2016? 

        I heard someone grill Bridges on this a bit, and it sounded very much to me, like he was in there, boots and all, digging this stuff up.

  5. Adrian 5

    I have very little idea of how IT works but if one was to go around and try every single door , window and loose board on a house until a way in was found and entered and took something from that house you were not supposed to have then I presume that must be illegal.

    Or even trying every possible combination on a lock until one worked surely that is also breaking and entering. 

    Does IT work on different laws.

    * Last line is in reference to using last year's budget words or phrases to find a way in.

    • Sacha 5.1

      This is more like the front door was set up to open for anybody who asked, for a few seconds at a time, so you could see a glimpse inside. Someone opened it 2000 times.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.2

      I don't think thats a  good analogy because theres a difference between trying to get into someones house where theres no implied invitation whereas a website is basically open to all

      • Psycho Milt 5.2.1

        It's more like this:  you go into the public library and there are signs telling you you're allowed to use the computers.  Turns out one of the computers has been left logged in by a library staff member, so you decide this is a good opportunity to rummage through the library's data.  Yes, you as a member of the public were invited to use the computers, and yes, you are a data thief exploiting a security hole created by human error to obtain unauthorised access to information.  I'm surprised it's not illegal, because it should be.

        • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1.1

          Actually its like going to a website and using the search function to…search

          Crazy I know 😉

          • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1

            It's like going to a web site, using the search function to search, finding that the documents you're interested in are unavailable because they're confidential, and deciding that actually the organisation's error in making the documents searchable means you can exploit that error and use the search engine's context display to extract the confidential documents' text. It's called data theft, for the excellent reason that it's theft.  If there's a loophole in our legislation that allows that theft, let's fix the loophole.

          • Naki man 5.2.1.1.2

            Yes browsing trademe is now a crime apparently or is it just when a National MP does it.

  6. RRM 6

    12 hours ago:

    SIMON BRIDGES CRIMINAL RECEIVER

     

    Today:

    We weren't REALLY jizzing our pants at the prospect of Bridges' imminent conviction! Honest!

     

    Just LOL. You guys spin and manage the truth even harder than Jacinda. 

     

     

    • Turns out exploiting a system's security flaws to obtain confidential information isn't illegal in this country after all.  Who knew?  Clearly, National's dirty politics crew did, but they're an unusually duplicitous bunch of people.

      • RRM 6.1.1

        Duplicitous?

        The budget and everything in it belongs to us already. 

        • I feel love 6.1.1.1

          Once the embargo is lifted, yes it does, til then, it doesn't. That's the nub of it. Even journalists bide by the embargo. 

          • Enough is Enough 6.1.1.1.1

            Its a self imposed embargo on the government and Treasury. It is not a legal embargo.

            If a third party obtains the information legally, they are not in breach of any embargo.

        • Clive Macann 6.1.1.2

          There is an Insider Trading like effect here. Releasing the info early has profound effects on the stock market, unlike a pre-arranged release.

        • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.3

          The budget and everything in it belongs to us already.

          No doubt the wazzock who took the rifles from the PN cop shop told himself the same thing.  "Owned by the public" != "owned by me personally."

           

           

      • SHG 6.1.2

        Check out this video of the security flaw being exploited

         

  7. Adrian thornton 7

    Nope it turns out it wasn't the Russians after all, just normal incompetence, no scary boogeymen,and just the 'opposition' using some mishandled information exactly like any political party would …at least this discovery didn't take some people two years to work out.

    • joe90 7.1

      Well Poots and co are flat out bombing butchering Syrian civilians so they are rather busy.

       

      • Adrian thornton 7.1.1

        I thought, well according to your past comments on the subject anyway,  that Putin was quite capable of bombing  civilians and undermining our western democracies all at the same time…he must be slipping.

    • Anne 7.2

      Actually Adrian thornton it is likely the "weak link" in Treasury's system has been around for years, but when Labour/Greens and NZ First were in Opposition they made no attempt to exploit it. I doubt they even tried because you know… they have a few ethical principles.

  8. Gosman 8

    Why hasn't anyone offered their resignation over the stuff up?

    • Sacha 8.1

      Mahklouf must be in the firing line but maybe not until tomorrow.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        I doubt it. Almost certainly what was done was standard practice for years and some National operative who understood this has exploited their inside knowledge to obtain information they knew perfectly well they had no right to.

        • Muttonbird 8.1.1.1

          David Farrar boasted that he did something similar when he worked directly for the National Party.

          He denies it but I'm sure some of his old tricks make their way into the National Party manual on how to snoop.

          • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes indeed, using the web sites search function is snooping. All web sites should get rid of their search function because searching is snooping.

             

        • SHG 8.1.1.2

          exploited their inside knowledge

          Translation: entered “budget 2019/2020” into a search field on the Treasury website

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.1

            Knowing that it would work is the critical point. It's not something the average punter would anticipate.

        • Enough is Enough 8.1.1.3

          "Almost certainly what was done was standard practice for years and some National operative who understood this has exploited their inside knowledge to obtain information they knew perfectly well they had no right to"

          Almost certainly? On what basis have you come to that conclusion? You do remember this is the second budget under this government, but somehow your "standard practice" was not exploited last year.

           

      • Jimmy 8.1.2

        Wasn't Mahklouf the guy there for the last 8 years or so?

        Have we ever had a leak like this before when National were doing budgets?

        So what has changed?

    • RedLogix 8.2

      As I said repeatedly yesterday, it doesn't matter how Bridges obtained the documents, it's what he did with them that matters. 

      He knew perfectly well it was confidential information, and that no-one releases Budget documents before the embargo is lifted. 

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        This is politics. The Opposition had an opportunity to mess with the release of the Budget and took it. Some might regard that as bad form and others might regard it as fair game. What is clear is it isn't going to move the polls much at all.

      • I feel love 8.2.2

        jAbsolutely. If anyone should resign or be dismissed it should be the staffer who did the exploit. 

    • Muttonbird 8.3

      Could you, from this forum?

  9. The government should have a good look into existing legislation to establish why this wasn't illegal and make sure that it is in future.  What Makhlouf describes is someone probing the Treasury's site for a security flaw, finding one and spending time and effort exploiting that flaw to obtain confidential data.  That, apparently, is "not hacking" under our current legislation.

    Any organisation that has confidential data in its systems should be concerned about a loophole that says, no, the hackers didn't do anything illegal because your staff made a mistake and didn't secure the data properly.  It's on a par with saying that the thieves who stole stuff from your car didn't do anything illegal because you forgot to lock it. 

    • Sacha 9.1

      Exposing content through your site's own public search function is different from someone having to use technical knowledge and skills to access it. There are other aspects of law that already cover what someone does with confidential material they have secured access to.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 9.2

      Such a shit analogy the unlocked car one. 

      This is published information. Just because it isn't being advertised on a banner on the main screen, doesn't make it theft to find it by using the sites own search engine. I mean, what else it there for? 

      If the IRD could take a leaf out of the treasury playbook it might be easier to get more information of their website. 

      • Psycho Milt 9.2.1

        The analogy is not a shit one.  The data was clearly not intended to be accessible (access to the documents themselves was blocked), but was because someone forgot to stop the search engine from indexing it. The thieves were then able to reconstruct parts of the documents from the snippets available via the search engine.  

        That is exactly the same as the bag you left in your car being clearly not intended to be accessible but is because you forgot to lock the car, and thieves are then able to access your property by opening the door.  Someone who wants to take your bag/the Treasury's data has to ignore that clear intent that the items should not be accessible.

        • I feel love 9.2.1.1

          Keep all valuables locked up while around National Party supporters. 

        • first-time caller 9.2.1.2

          A different analogy, that might be differently useful, is if a bank mistakenly deposits a $million in your account. You did nothing illegal – completely someone else's mistake. But if you then go on a spending spree and refuse to pay the money back, you're going to be in big trouble.

           

  10. NZJester 10

    How ever you look at it National was resposable for the data leak. The Bad management and penny pinching of the last National Govenment ment the security on that system was about a secure as if a copy of the budget was sitteing on a desk in a looked office with multiple books open to difrent pages viewable from an outside window . 

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    Well in this instance I feel theres no blame on National, they did what any opposition should do and I don't see any blame on Labour as they did what any government should do as well

     

    Gabriel Makhlouf on the other hand has a few questions to answer about this, like what evidence did he base his assertion on and was there any political pressure to say what he said

     

     

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Bullshit. Bridges has outed himself as an utter hypocrite here. He launches an investigation into his own leaked expenses with high indignation and then smugly turns about and leaks the Budget himself and claims that's perfectly OK.

      It's precisely NOT what 'any opposition should do'. 

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        So what do you suggest Bridges do, bring nothing up ever again?

        National did nothing wrong, Labour did nothing wrong but Treasury and its head certainly did some things wrong

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          Treasury and its head certainly did some things wrong

          Maybe, but I’d also suspect Treasury has been managing the Budget web release in a similar fashion for some years. It’s been an adequate arrangement up to this point where some National Party operative determined to exploit the vulnerability.

          What you’re doing is the classic ‘blame the victim’ game here.

          So what do you suggest Bridges do, bring nothing up ever again?

          Preferably … but there is value to left in him staying on a bit longer.

          • AB 11.1.1.1.1

            Agreed RL. The most likely scenario is that some National-friendly IT contractor (most of them are) spotted the simple vulnerability and told National. A National operative then scripted lots of searches to hammer the search engine 2000+ times to look for any new content appearing. They got some not very interesting skeleton documents.

            So far, – just mildly grubby and  juvenile and technically not illegal, but borderline.

            Then they released the documents – and this is the really mind-blowingly stupid and vulgar thing that you'd expect from Bridges/Bennett because: 

            – there is no public interest component in seeing documents that are going to be released anyway,  and they contain no element of wrongdoing that could invoke the whistle-blower defence

            – the release undermines the convention of budget confidentiality that is objectively important and is something that National itself will expect to see respected when it is back in government (sometime)

            The word I'd use to describe how the Nats look from is this is "vandals". Pathetic, vulgar, bitter little vandals.

        • SHG 11.1.1.2

          Golfclap to Jacinda for smelling this from a mile away and throwing Treasury under the bus nice and fast. 

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.2.1

            Yes she did very well in distancing herself from this, maybe a bit more techhy savvy then the usual politician perhaps

        • Gabby 11.1.1.3

          He could have netted himself a lot of credit by announcng he'd identified a security problem and informed treasury of it puckers. He'd've looked a lot less like a big baby that way.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.3.1

            As opposed to making Treasury (and by extension Labour) foolish…yeah I can see why you'd prefer that

        • McFlock 11.1.1.4

          He should have followed Keith Ng's example with the WINZ web kiosks: establish the hole exists, inform the organisations concerned, then make a big song and dance about it.

          As opposed to going "I shouldn't know this, now everyone does", "I shouldn't know that, now everyone does",  or in the case of WI data "Jane's DPB income is $632 per week", "Jim got an emergency needs grant to fix his car", etc.

    • Gabby 11.2

      Depends on who hired the it guys puckers.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1

        Well obviously they were National stooges planted their to embarrass the government…

        Something about not ascribing to malice that which can be explained by stupidity comes to mind

    • cleangreen 11.3

      Puckish Rose –  of course you are seeing National as a pure angel here but they are stupid as they were setup by treasury to find the budget to make them appear "loose mouthed"

      You are seeking the treasury Secretary's explanation???

      Ha ha ha; – He had already tended his resignation before this all hit the fan;

      Oh oh; – of couse you  didnt know this?

      he has taken another overease post and soon departs from NZ for a job in Ireland.for their treasury.

  12. Ankerrawshark) 12
    • Ok so someone from national deliberately went to treasury’s website and accessed parts of the budget due to a weakness, that was an IT error.   Then Bridges released some of that confidential material (which from what I can gather from past budget leaks, can expose NZ to loses).   He does this to score political points.  Ffs
    •  

    Some IT person fucks up.  Well this can happen. Not good enough, but someone who is really interested in serving N Z interests, would notify about the flaw, not leak the documents.  Simon and the Nats are more interested in winning, than the interests of NZ.

    It’s just possible said IT person was employed under national, but either way that is not the issue.

    Treasury secretary seems to have lied.  But in alerting the police he effectively shut down Nationals leaking of the budget. That needed to happen.  

    Now the IT breach being investigated by state services etc"……..

    now back to the budget.

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Bridges explains exactly how the National Party did it  (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113076613/live-leaks-ahead-of-government-releasing-its-wellbeing-budget)

    From Henry Cooke: "Bridges says the information was accessed by using Treasury's search engine and inputting "2019/2020" along with a budget bid.  No further clicks were needed."

    "Any member of the New Zealand public could have done this," Bridges says.  This matches what was revealed as the mistake by Treasury earlier this morning.  The National Party have recorded a short video of the search happening."

    So the publication by treasury of the budget info seems to have made the 2000 hacking attempts look like a waste of time. However the Nat leader has upped the ante:

    “National leader Simon Bridges says Treasury has known exactly what happened since Tuesday but has “sat on a lie. They covered it up to hide their own incompetence,” Bridges said. He says he knows they knew what had happened because they fixed the issue with precision and that he has talked with sources within Treasury.”

    • SHG 13.1

      The search engine displayed excerpts of the Budget. If you search for the title of the document, it might display the title and the first three sentences of text. Now knowing what the third sentence is, you search for the third sentence and the search engine displays the third, fourth, and fifth sentences. Now knowing what the fifth sentence is, you search for the fifth sentence and the search engine displays the fifth, sixth, and seventh sentences.

      I guess it took close to 2000 searches to reconstruct the entire Budget.

      • Dennis Frank 13.1.1

        Oh, I see.  Thanks for that technical insight, very helpful.  If correct, it eliminates the hacking scenario – replaces that with diligent exploration.

        • SHG 13.1.1.1

          lets say each page of search results contains fifty images. (logos, buttons, icons). Each of those is a resource that must be served up by the website. Every time a page loads that’s 50 requests for data.

          oops I mean “hacking attempts”

           

           

           

    • "Any member of the New Zealand public could have done this," Bridges says.

      Well not just NZ. Worldwide in fact.

      So tell me, Why has no-one else worldwide out of billions of people not done it.

      The odds of one in billions seems unbelievable to me.

      • alwyn 13.2.1

        Do you think anyone in the world actually gives a damn? After all, Minister's in the current Government have been routinely breaching confidentiality for months while they tell us what is going to be in the Budget.

        Even very junior Ministers like Willie Jackson have been leaking like colanders. For example on Morning Report today he told us that "The co-chair of Labour's Māori caucus says there will be targeted funding for Māori and Whānau Ora can expect a boost in the 2019 Budget."

        Is that not a totally unethical leak? Personally I don't think so but anyone who rabbits on about Simon Bridges should be condemning Willie.

  14. cleangreen 14

    Treasury has never thought very cleverly have they?

    Remember when treasury said in John Key and Steven Joyce’ time that our whole rail system should be shut down’??????

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/278359/close-down-rail,-advised-the-treasury

    6:08 pm on 9 July 2015

    New Zealand
    World
    Politics
    Brent Edwards, Political Editor – brent.edwards@radionz.co.nz

    The Labour Party has accused the Treasury of being “nuts” for suggesting the country’s rail network should be closed because it costs too much.

    In Budget documents released today the Treasury estimated the net social cost of supporting KiwiRail at between $55 million and $170 million a year.

    In the paper the Treasury recommended the Government just fund KiwiRail for one more year while undertaking a comprehensive study to look at closing the rail company.

    It said the study should be done publicly so that people were informed of the costs of running the rail network compared with any benefits it provided.

    The Government rejected the idea.

    Labour’s transport spokesperson Phil Twyford criticised the Treasury for even raising the suggestion.

    “This proposal by Treasury for the Government to consider actually shutting down the rail network is just nuts and it shows that Treasury doesn’t really understand transport economics and they certainly don’t get rail.

    “You know rail should be for decades and decades to come, it should be alongside the road system, the backbone of New Zealand’s transport system … To shut down, even to contemplate shutting down this valuable part of our nation’s infrastructure is barmy,” Mr Twyford said.

    While government ministers rejected the idea initially they only intended providing money for KiwiRail for this financial year.

  15. Booker 15

    “the media spent all day talking about how Simon Bridges said Grant Robertson said one thing and Grant Robertson said he said no such thing”

    This is exactly why I’ve increasingly turned away from mainstream NZ media. There’s absolutely zero thought process involved or analysis on the part of the “journalists”. You can guarantee that as soon as Jacinda/Labour/The Greens day one thing, the very next part of the report will be “but Bridges/National say that’s wrong”. Here’s an idea, why don’t journalists line up what people say against facts and figures to show who’s most likely to be correct and who isn’t. Honestly, they add zero value whatsoever – so the opposition party says the government’s wrong, well, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!

  16. ianmac 16

    I think Bridges this morning was asked how his release of info was in the Public Interest.

    He predictably launched into the usual tirade about incompetence of Government and Treasury. But that doesn't answer the question does it?

    • SHG 16.1

      If the Budget diverts money away from Health and Education to use as bribes to NZ First, knowing about it is in the public interest.

      • Muttonbird 16.1.1

        A Capital Gains Tax would have helped.

      • ianmac 16.1.2

        If that was even true, it would become known today after 2pm. A garbled version from your mate Simon would do no good at all – unless all he wanted was people to notice him at any cost.

  17. RRM 17

    Treasury are already advertising for a new web editor on LinkedIn:

    https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/1291709381/

     

    laugh you couldn't make this shit up, people would say it was just a piss take!

    • higherstandard 17.1

      laughThought you we're taking the Michael before I clicked on the link….as you say you couldn't make this shit up.

  18. bewildered 18

    Any one got a pin sharpener, they are getting awfully blunt with all the dancing 

  19. Leaps 19

    The question that no one has asked that really should be answered by National:

    Did they or anyone else use their knowledge of what happens on budget day when they were in power to perform this circumvention of the website security?

    If they did it's highly unethical at the very least.

     

  20. greywarshark 20

    Treasury : Looking after NZ citizens the NZ economy's theoretical heaven since the early 1980's.    Motto – Efficiency and Effectiveness; with low Externalities.  Mission – To be economical (with the truth) and be rich in imaginative scenarios and fitting up society, and in rewards to those immersed in finance (including themselves).

  21. ScottGN 21

    Bridges’ demand the morning that the Finance Minister resign ain’t going to happen. It was basically overreach that will allow the government to frame this as the Leader of The Opposition crashing around trying to save his own position. NZers might ask themselves has anything National has done here material to them? Meanwhile the government an get the budget back on track by stressing that it is all about the country’s interests and well being

  22. Dennis Frank 22

    Danyl writes that Treasury is "conducting a review into what happened, which will doubtless absolve themselves of any responsibility, instead blaming systems and processes and organisational deficiencies, another time honoured tradition shared by politicians and public servants and IT staff alike."  https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/30-05-2019/the-treasury-hack-and-the-time-honoured-tradition-of-desperate-arse-covering/

    As I suggested earlier this morning in my comment about Labour's double standard.  It puzzles me that the left are always trying to cover up public service wrong-doing.  Do they not grasp that people prefer to see a functional moral compass operating in government??

    • ankerawshark 23.1

      JP how has Labour been incompetent in this situation?

  23. This whole saga id definitely Simons way of getting revenge for his spending being released 2 days early.

    That's exactly how his petty mind works.

    Typical schoolboy stuff to a tee.

  24. Kris Gledhill 25

    The relevant part of the Crimes Act 1961 is this:

    249 Accessing computer system for dishonest purpose
    (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who,
    directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system and thereby, dishonestly or
    by deception, and without claim of right,—
    (a) obtains any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or
    valuable consideration; or
    (b) causes loss to any other person.
    (2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who,
    directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system with intent, dishonestly or
    by deception, and without claim of right,—
    (a) to obtain any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit,
    or valuable consideration; or
    (b) to cause loss to any other person.
    (3) In this section, deception has the same meaning as in section 240(2).

    Hacking by claiming to be someone else (eg using someone else's log-in) is the "by deception" part; but that is an alternative to "dishonestly", which means without a belief in permission or consent (section 217) – and exploiting a vulnerability seems to amount to dishonesty because it does not involve consent or permission. If a benefit has been obtained – which raises the question of whether that word is limited to financial benefit or is more broadly construed – then there may have have been an offence.

     

    • RedLogix 25.1

      and without claim of right

      In my opinion this is the critical line National have stepped over. Just because the documents were partially accessible via a public search tool, does not imply they had 'a claim of right' to them.

      It does rather cast the Police decision in a dubious light.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 25.1.1

        Thinking about Bridges' shenanigans from Labour's point of view, am guessing that someone senior had a quiet word (at arms length) to the police to drop it.

        It's in Labour's best interests to sustain Bridges' leadership for as long as possible.

  25. ankerawshark 26
    • Dennis there will be an investigation by the State Services Commission.  From that there will either be a cover up or not.   How about we wait and see.
    • Likely someone was incompetent or made a significant error.   This happens.  I always think as long as no one died, then lets not blow it out of proportion.  The error has been fixed, the Nats have exposed how they spend their time in opposition. This isn't a scand.al about corruption as it appears right now
    • and what they do when they obtain confidential information that is almost always respected as such.  
    • Simon seemed to be gloating on the tele.  I wonder if Winston is thinking of taking a civil case against them?
    • Now back to what matters, i.e. what this govt has budgeted towards fixing NZ significant problems.
    • higherstandard 26.1

      'I wonder if Winston is thinking of taking a civil case against them?'

      Gawd I wish that smelly old stain on NZ politics would cast of his mortal coil so we no longer had to suffer his dementia and the dubious behaviour of his caucus.

    • Dennis Frank 26.2

      Yes, I do agree with all that.  Such priorities are indeed more important, to serve the public.  However the double standard on ethics is an endemic problem requiring solution.

  26. adam 27

    Why didn't national tell the government the problem instead of trying to score points from a mistake? 

    Sheesh what happened to being honest?

    What happen to doing the right thing?

    Oh that right, 40 years of hard right economics has made almost every politician a selfish wanker; into petty point scoring, smug flippancy, and cheap aggrandisement. 

     

  27. joe90 28

    Personified.

    Definition of duplicity

    1 : contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action

    • Gabby 28.1

      THAT is interesting. So Eyebrows was in the know.

    • Muttonbird 28.2

      😂

      • greywarshark 28.2.1

        Wellington and the Beehive particularly will have to clean up its act or it will be rivalling Auckland for the Duplicity of NZ Award. 

        There may have to be a new award – Dual-Duplicities for Malicious Attrition of Democracy Dreams (MADD).    Doubly mad!

        • greywarshark 28.2.1.1

          Justice hacker sparks police probe.    This could be the opportune time to call in Council cleaning experts and do a sewer probe, there is possibly a ton of important shredded paper in a fatberg under Wellington.

  28. David Mac 29

    I think Bridges has made a donkey of himself. That idiot that shares a couples' secret with the entire room…"Guess what everyone, Paul and Mary are having a baby!"

  29. higherstandard 30

    This is starting to look like the Keystone Cops have been hired down in Wellington to run Treasury..

    Another Budget blunder: Treasury give journalists early copies by mistake

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12235784

  30. Muttonbird 31

    Meanwhile Wellington barrister Felix Geiringer said the unauthorised information gathering from Treasury's website was a criminal offence and required further investigation.

    Media lawyer Steven Price said National had acted unlawfully by obtaining and distributing unauthorised information.

    This is the discrepancy between Police discretion and what the Law actually says.

    That the Police did nothing aligns with their historical reluctance to bring charges against (or even investigating) politicians.

    I guess they imagine the court of public opinion will do the job.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/113111605/nationals-budget-leaks-go-against-security-agencys-advice-and-treasury-breach-was-unlawful-lawyers-say

    • ianmac 31.1

      It was said this morning that the contents of the Budget does not have legal protection. Only the custom to the secrecy, but with each Government "leaking" bits to the public to spark interest.

      It seems to me that most previous Budgets were pretty uninteresting. Thus an English Budget was Ho-Hum. But this one will generate heightened interest as the Opposition have to spike Government being approved by Public against next year's Election.

    • Dennis Frank 31.2

      That's interesting.  Could be an instance of lawyers opining in defiance of common sense – unless the law specifies that providing a web page to the public is not publication!

      However Stuff failed to specify which law was being broken.  The police presumably got legal advice that prosecution would fail.  Assertions of illegality really do need to be proven, to show they aren't just hot air.

  31. That_guy 32

    It's illegal.

    Crimes Act 1961 no 43 Section 252

    Accessing computer system without authorisation

    (1)

    Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.

     

    I would love to see someone argue that the leader of the National party was not aware that he was not authorised to access documents before an embargo.

    • indiana 32.1

      https://www.paknsaveonline.co.nz/product/5216883_ea_000pns?name=2-ply-facial-tissues

      I found this product by using the search engine at the Pak n Save website…they might be helpful for you to wipe away your tears.  Of course you may argue I did not have authorisation to use the Pak n Save search engine.

    • greywarshark 32.2

      Cool heads have pointed out that the public have access to Treasury information as a matter of course.    They just didn't keep their important stuff secure.    It confirms my opinion that this demand that we do everything through computers and the web is stupidly mistaken.

      In the Treasury case, there was a show of a page giving an idea of what would follow, a taste of say a heading and three sentences.    If you then took the last sentence and fed that into the search box, it would give you that and the next two sentences, or similar.     So if one kept at it with 2,000 searches, much of the document would build up.    Few would have expected that the Budget document would be accessable from that.   But finding out how it worked would act as a challenge for an anti-authoritarian young male, as so many are now.

      • Rosemary McDonald 32.2.1

        ….public have access to Treasury information as a matter of course.    They just didn't keep their important stuff secure.  

        Eggsactly.  For the the past nearly decade, in anticipation  of the Budget, I have spent a wee while on the Treasury website reacquainting my self with previous years' efforts…especially for Vote Health. 

        More than once I have merely deleted the year from the URL thingy and replaced it with the next year I want to revisit. I did one year accidentally put in the current year….

        Someone stuffed up. Shit happens. Stupid people tried to capitalise on the snafu and wound up looking like fwits.

        It is, I'll wager, pure luck this hasn't happened at this level sooner.

        Betcha it won't be happening again.

         

      • Psycho Milt 32.2.2

        They just didn't keep their important stuff secure.

        Like it or not, many organisations hold confidential information about you, and the security of that information is in the hands of fallible humans.  You may feel blase about it being entirely legal for people to exploit the mistakes of those fallible humans to gain unauthorised access to that confidential information, but your society and its legislators should not be.

         

        • I feel love 32.2.2.1

          Exactly, I think this is the pin the RW are dancing on. 

        • greywarshark 32.2.2.2

          PM

          I said

          They just didn't keep their important stuff secure.    It confirms my opinion that this demand that we do everything through computers and the web is stupidly mistaken.

          I think I made my point.   But you are so fond of being preachy and right that you like to jump in with your points.

  32. ianmac 33

    Simon not quite out of the shadows yet?

    "National's Budget leaks go against security agency's advice and Treasury breach was unlawful, lawyers say."

    "Ingram said if someone found something online that they believed they shouldn't be able to access, they could report it to the site owner or get advice from Cert in confidence."

    "Media lawyer Steven Price said National had acted unlawfully by obtaining and distributing unauthorised information."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/113111605/nationals-budget-leaks-go-against-security-agencys-advice-and-treasury-breach-was-unlawful-lawyers-say

    • Puckish Rogue 33.1

      Of course I mean its not like a lawyer would want to try to drum up some business over this

  33. Booker 34

    Well, now the actual budget is out, who cares about Bridges leak (apart from Bridges himself of course).

    Which comes back to what was the whole point of that fiasco anyway – revealing a few tidbits of information that were going to be made public (in fact, very public) a mere 48 hrs later, then jumping up and down that everyone else had to resign because Bridges got his hands on information he probably shouldn’t have been able to get, but did anyway after putting what must have been a fairly sizable chunk of person-hours into obtaining it…. when they could have been doing something useful for society instead. Meanwhile, back in the real world, real people have actual real work to get on with.

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  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    28 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    1 week ago