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The Waihopai spy base

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, April 9th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: activism, defence, Spying, us politics, war - Tags: , , ,

The Waihopai spy base is very much in the news. Last month the Waihopai Three were acquitted of charges, provoking a storm of controversy (and congratulations). Yesterday came the news that the Government is considering further action – “‘Bad losers’ eye $1.1m suit” – probably not the headline that the Solicitor-General would have hoped for, but it’s the way it’s going to be seen if the action goes ahead.

But this post is about another interesting article that appeared yesterday:

Security agency refutes Waihopai claims

New Zealand’s intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), has taken what it calls a “very unusual step” in making a public comment on the case of the Waihopai spybase saboteurs.

The base, in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley, was not “a United States spybase in our midst, contributing to torture, war, and the use of weapons of mass destruction and other unspeakable evil,” director Sir Bruce Ferguson and his predecessor Warren Tucker, said in a statement today. … “The Waihopai station is not a US-run ‘spybase’. It is totally operated and controlled by New Zealand, through the GCSB as an arm of the New Zealand Government.”

… Waihopai was not being used to contribute to torture, war, and the use of weapons of mass destruction, such as depleted uranium as claimed, the directors said. “It was not – and is not – contributing to ‘unspeakable evil’. Quite the reverse.” They said they would make no further comment.

Clearly this “very unusual step” is driven by the heat from the recent publicity. Which incidentally was exactly what the Waihopai Three were trying to achieve (and why further action against them will be even more self defeating!). But what of the substance of these denials? Well, I’m sure we can believe that Waihopai is fully owned and operated by NZ via the GCSB. Of course what hasn’t been denied is that the intelligence collected by Waihopai is passed on to America. So second, I hope we can believe that the GCSB has been told that the intelligence collected is put to only benign and fluffy use, no war, torture, or other unpleasantness. Of course, we have only America’s word for this.

Some history. It was Owen Wilkes (RIP Owen) who alerted the public in 1983 to the first radio intercept spy station at Tangimoana beach: “Finding out about that station, Wilkes worked out that NZ had a major spy agency which no one had been told about.” The next major development was Nicky Hager’s remarkable 1996 book Secret Power – New Zealand’s Role in the International Spy Network (now available online, and Hager tells the story of the book here). The facts that Hager uncovered are now widely accepted, a recent article in The Herald sums up:

Both Waihopai and the Tangimoana radio listening post near Palmerston North have been identified as key players in the United States-led Echelon spy programme. Though they are run by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the bulk of the bases’ intelligence is believed to be fed to the US and the other Echelon member nations: Canada, Australia and Britain. Echelon began life during the Cold War, but has been modified to search for evidence of terrorist plots, drug deal plans and diplomatic intelligence. However, it has also been accused of carrying out industrial and economic espionage for its member nations. …

Peace activist Nicky Hager first exposed the inner workings of the Echelon programme in his 1996 book Secret Power: New Zealand’s role in the international spy network. “The Echelon system has created an awesome spying capacity for the United States, allowing it to monitor continuously most of the world’s communications … “Since the Echelon system was extended to cover New Zealand in the late 1980s, the GCSB’s Waihopai and Tangimoana stations can be seen as elements of a United States system and as serving that system. The GCSB stations provide some information for New Zealand Government agencies, but the primary logic of these stations is as parts of the global network.”

In the Foreword to Hager’s book, ex Prime Minister David Lange wrote:

We even went the length of building a satellite station at Waihopai. But it was not until I read this book that I had any idea that we had been committed to an international integrated electronic network … an astonishing number of people have told him things that I, as Prime Minister in charge of the intelligence services, was never told. There are also many things with which I am familiar. I couldn’t tell him which was which. Nor can I tell you. But it is an outrage that I and other ministers were told so little, and this raises the question of to whom those concerned saw themselves ultimately answerable.

Hmmmmm. So, who are we to believe? I would like to be able to give the GCSB the benefit of the doubt and accept that they believe their disclaimers. I would like to be able to believe that (if these bases must exist on our soil then) the intelligence is put to benign use, such as preventing terrorist attacks. But are there other, unacceptable uses too, as so many have claimed? Here we have only America’s word, and I’m afraid that it’s a word that only a fool would trust.

29 comments on “The Waihopai spy base”

  1. lprent 1

    Like you, I find the GCSB assurances about the use fit the data from the electronic intel sites somewhat hard to swallow. And I actually support having the bases here on the basis of Nicky Hagers description of their function (so farthe best description I have seen).

    Quite simply there has been so much dissembling about these bases (clearly apparent in Langes foreword) and in the way that the US explains it’s actions, that the GCSB current and past explanations are simply not credible.

  2. Mac1 2

    Am I right in understanding that the GCSB refused to testify during the trial of the Waihopai Three but has chosen to make a statement out of court which is not able to be tested under court conditions- i.e under oath and cross-examination?

    The paper local to the Waihopai area, the Marlborough Express, has chosen to slant its headline yesterday against the three defendants, “Broke Waihopai base attackers laugh off damages claim”. Laugh off means “to treat lightly” or “to act as not important”, an attitude which was not borne out by the front page article. Bad headlines go both ways.

    Mr Adrian Leason, one of the three, said that “In many ways it would be a gift to us. It would keep up the profile of the real issue, which is the base’s involvement in humaitarian-law breaking, because it would keep the base in the media spotlight.”

  3. Anne 3

    “Like you, I find the GCSB assurances about the use fit the data from the electronic intel sites somewhat hard to swallow. And I actually support having the bases here on the basis of Nicky Hagers description of their function (so far the best description I have seen).”

    The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. It would be impossible for the GSCB to know precisely how all the information they have gathered was being used by overseas agencies and they must know it. It would have been the reason for the “dissembling about these bases” during Lange’s time as PM. Cold War paranoia was still rife in the 1980s.

  4. BLiP 4

    Why wait until after the dismissal of the Heroes of Waihopai before wheeling out doddery mandarins to make the denials? I do have a little sympathy for Ferguson and Tucker: its entirely possible that they genuinely believe the spy base is simply a tracking system used once a year to keep on eye on Santa’s southern hemisphere deliveries.

    Can’t wait to see what other fascinating snippets come to light if National Ltdâ„¢ exercises its right to vindictive justice. Another trial by jury, a couple of appeals and this will be dragged kicking and screaming through the media and into the Supreme Court. After that, good luck with getting the money.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Or they thought the evidence during the case was so blatantly obvious (they admitted that they did the act, and they were clearly seen at the crime scene etc), that a branch of the government that very rarely ever gives press statements thought they didn’t need to give input then either, because the correct guilty verdict was obvious to anyone with half a brain.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Or the GCSB thought the evidence during the case was so blatantly obvious (they admitted that they did the act, and they were clearly seen at the crime scene etc), that a branch of the government that very rarely ever gives press statements thought they didn’t need to give input then either, because the correct guilty verdict was obvious to anyone with half a brain.

  5. Anne 5

    Ouch… they’re not quite doddery mandarins yet BLiP, but I do love your analogy. 😀

  6. Armchair Critic 6

    What happened to the principle of double jeopardy? I thought if one was found to be not guilty in a criminal trial then no further actions (except appeals on points of law) could be taken. Is this another example of National removing individual’s rights?

    • BLiP 6.1

      IANAL, but I understand there is a difference between criminal guilt and civil liability.

      • Armchair Critic 6.1.1

        I’m not one, either. I thought that when the government made the decision to pursue a case they would have decided whether a criminal case or a civil case was most appropriate.
        If the result of their decision was not to their satisfaction, tough for them.

  7. In order not to copy and paste whole articles here here is my take on it.

  8. Graham 8

    Um … serious question here (because I don’t know the answer).

    I imagine that the majority of international telephone and data communications nowadays is via fibre optic cable. I guess some satellite is still used, to the Pacific Islands for example, but in general isn’t most international voice and data communications via fibre optic cable? So if Waihopai is monitoring satellites, how much use is it in reality?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Still heaps goes through satellites, especailly our North Asian friends. Probably the Chines use satellites to communicate with their embassies through the World.
      As for ocean fibre, the US navy has special Subs to attach listening ( watching ?)devices to cable that dont pass through US territory

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        Good point gwwnz. Maybe this is what Waihopai base does. Could it be, that Waihopai is a relay station for such a system?

        Are there really submarines that can tap into oceanic fibre optical cable not belonging to you, or not passing through your territory???

        It just seems so fantastic!!!

        I imagine if there really is such a thing, that the only practical way the stolen data could be downloaded, would be by uplinks from the submarines to satelites. This is where Waihopai would fit in. I don’t think there would be much point in jacking into undersea foreign coms links only to steam all the way back home to hand over the data. This could explain why the satelite dishes are shrouded in such a way, as to hide where they are pointing.

        It seems so out there. I imagine it would be just the sort of question, the Waihopai three could ask the GCSB in their upcoming Civil Trial. If the spooks say “no comment” then you know it will be true.

        If the Waihopai dishes were pointing at geo-stationary satelites over empty ocean, you would know, to guard your conversations appropriately.

          • Jenny 8.1.1.1.1

            At the risk of sounding like a crazy conspiracy theorist;
            As soon as the ball shrouding the Waihopai disk was deflated, despite the risk of mechanical stress from the weight of the collapsed canopy on the disc, operators immediately put the disk into the “at rest” mode, in line with the earths axis.

            There is something very dodgy about the satellites the disks are focused on.

            Though the balls covering the Waihopai dishes are opaque to visible light, by their very nature they must be transparent to radiation.

            A portable microwave projector may be able to reveal their orientation without cutting the fabric or climbing the fences.

            My anti-spam word was ball.

          • travellerev 8.1.1.1.2

            The link goes to a page not found message.

            • Jenny 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Sorry about that. It did when I posted it, its about submarines that splice into underseas cables.

              I was just gobsmacked that there was such a thing so I googled it.

  9. Joe Bloggs 9

    it doesn’t matter what the GCSB says or doesn’t say, or how they say what they say, there’ll always be a bunch of conspiracy theorists who will refuse to believe them – evidence above – so it’s a pointless post

    • felix 9.1

      Where’s that, Joe?

      What conspiracy theory are you referring to and who is espousing it?

  10. Anne 10

    Not a very bright boy are you Joe Bloggs.
    There would be few people who don’t appreciate the need for intelligence information sharing, but common sense dictates that the GCSB cannot know exactly how all the information they provide is being used by a recipient – most of it perhaps but not all of it.

    Go find a dictionary and learn what the word ‘conspiracy’ actually means!

  11. Name 11

    The larger picture which has the Government, lawyers and right-thinking people worried by this case is the ramifications of the ‘public good’ defense.

    Yes, there is a case for a person being able to argue the he broke the law because the public good required it, but an essential ingredient of the defence is that his belief that he was acting in the public good is reasonable.

    It is not sufficient that the person concerned honestly held that belief, which appears to be the point the jury is this case were wrongly directed to consider. It is whether that belief is reasonable. In the case in point the jury should have been asked if it was the belief that vandalising the Waihopi ‘spy base’ would to anything to ameliorate the ‘torture, civilian deaths and use of weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq etc. If that isn’t a reasonable belief, the public good defence should not have suceeded.

    Guy Fawkes honestly believed he was acting in the public good when he tried to blow up the English Parliament. The leaders and executioners of 9/11 presumably believed they were acting in a wider public good.

    What the Waihopi case does is to encourage loonies of every shade to take positive, violent action again whatever sinister agency haunts their paranoia (Timothy McVeigh, anybody?) in the hope and expectation that the sincerity of their belief will protect them.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Yes.

      Using the “public good” defense, I can go blow up a local petrol station, because the money from the petrol sold makes it’s way back into the hands of repressive middle eastern countries that abuse human rights. If you argue that the petrol sold by my local station doesn’t actually come from the middle east, then I guess that makes “sustainable palm oil” a completely perfect product as well because that palm oil isn’t coming from destruction of the rain forest.

  12. Rich 12

    It’s a satellite ground station (that’s obvious from the design).

    Now, unless the government has secretly been spending our entire GDP on a secret programme, NZ doesn’t own any satellites.

    (I think we can discount the concept that it spies *on* satellites. They use narrow microwave beams that only cover the area of interest, so unless the satellite was specifically communicating with NZ, it would be impossible to “bug” in this way. The only thing they *could* listen to like this is INMARSAT, maybe. But there would be easier ways to do that).

    So it must be a ground station for US spy satellites. These can do a bunch of things, like listening to microwave links and taking photographs. The reason for the domes (and the reason they set it to neutral quickly when the dome got trashed) is to hide where the satellites are located (which would give a clue to what they are doing.

    It’s clearly part of the US electronic intelligence program then. The NZ government might like us to believe that they vet the information collected and ensure it’s only used ethically. Yeah, right?

  13. Name 13

    I don’t think anyone has suggested this is anything other than an intelligence gathering facility but “clearly part of the US electronic intelligence program” has (and was probably intended to have) an unwarranted emotional shading.

    It is, I would suggest, part of an intelligence-gathering system most of the western world and many other countries are participating in, in an effort to counter terrorism in a great many forms some of it state-sponsored. Yes the US is leading it because the US has the technical knowledge, resources and much of the infrastructure, and is the biggest target, but if intelligence gathered at Waihopi might prevent another 9/11 in New York, or Jumbo jet exploding in mid-air over za small town in Scotland, or even a suicide bomber pulling the pin in a market-place full of women and children in Baghdad or Mumbai, do we have any right to say that we want no part of it – and if we do say we want no part in it, what right would we have to expect any warning or advice if another country’s intelligence received warning of a threat against New Zealand – or perhaps threatening New Zealanders in a place like Bali?

    Sure it’s a dirty business. We can all wish it wasn’t necessary. I’ve no doubt the Waihopi three would in all sincerity have refused to fight WW2 and would nobly have passed through the concentration-camp gates or slaved building railways through tropic jungle abhoring the brutality and forgiving their captors, and good for them. I can admire the purity of their principles, but they have no right to put the safety of the ordinary citizen of the free world, be he (or she) in New York, London or Auckland, at risk ‘in the public good’.

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    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    30 mins ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 hour ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    36 mins ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    50 mins ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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