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Time for a real Police Tribunal?

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 am, October 31st, 2014 - 21 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags: ,

Yesterday the “Independent” Police Conduct Authority released its report into the conduct of Police during the 2012 mass arrest of students at the “Blockade the Budget” protest. In the “About the Authority” section near the bottom the report claims that the IPCA is similar to a court:

Being independent means that the Authority makes its own findings based on the facts and the law. It does not answer to the Police, the Government or anyone else over those findings. In this way, its independence is similar to that of a Court.

The two main things that distinguish the IPCA from a tribunal or court is that it is not bound by precedent and there is no right of appeal. Those two things are the biggest incentive for a court or tribunal to be very careful in their interpretation of fact and law.

The IPCA is chaired by a Judge and appears to have a purpose consistent with that of a court:

On completion of an investigation, the Authority must form an opinion on whether any Police conduct, policy, practice or procedure (which was the subject of the complaint) was contrary to law, unreasonable, unjustified, unfair, or undesirable. The Authority may make recommendations to the Commissioner.

It would be really interesting to see how a report like this would stand up to scrutiny by the higher courts. In that respect I wonder if it’s time for the IPCA to be turned into a real tribunal.

In the weeks after the Blockade the Budget protest I wrote two posts here at The Standard. My first post theorised that the police intentions were to incite a riot (I stand by this after reading the report). My second post included a video showing a Police Liaison Officer speaking to protest organisers 10 minutes before the march. I urge you to read both of those posts and then read the IPCA report.

Lack of perspective and independence

In a court decision, where there is conflicting evidence, it is standard for both sides of the conflicting evidence to be quoted or at least summarised, and then for the judge to justify why he/she has preferred, or found more credible, one piece of evidence over another. That is just one way that a court attempts to display transparency and allow scrutiny of their decision making process. This report does not do that.

There are 8 italicized quotes from police (paragraphs [12] [14] [27] [30] [31] [44] [46] and [53]) and none from any other perspective (unless you include a list of chants at the protests in paragraph [60]).

The main narrative and perspective throughout the IPCA report is from a police perspective. Further the report consistently speaks for or on behalf of the police with the use of language such as “police felt”, “police aimed”, “police wanted” and “police considered”. The language used to introduce the police perspective is telling when compared with the language used to introduce the demonstrators’ perspective. For example the three most common ways to introduce the police perspective were “police said”, “police told the authority” and “police reported”. Meanwhile the three most common ways to introduce the demonstrators perspective were “demonstrators complained”, “demonstrators claimed” and “demonstrators alleged”. The differences are subtle but telling.

Police perspective:

  • police felt [13] [19]
  • police aimed [20] [43]
  • police took into account [20]
  • police were unaware [28]
  • police did not know [33]
  • police were unable [37]
  • police told the Authority [15] [29] [30] [39] [40] [45] [46] [55] [62] [63] [71] [114] [129] [150] [160]
  • police said [32] [38] [43] [44] [49] [64] [65] [67] [68] [70] [71] [122] [129] [130] [133] [134] [135] [139] [151] [157] [165]
  • police acknowledged [31] [161]
  • police told them (the demonstrators) [44]
  • police viewed [20]
  • police wanted [43] [113]
  • police decided [43] [68] [123] [131]
  • police believed [45] [64] [132]
  • police reported [50] [51] [52] [65] [121] [128] [143] [174]
  • police denied [59]
  • police identified [66]
  • police gave instructions [66]
  • police deduced [69]
  • police stated [113] [130]
  • police accepted [135] [176]
  • police considered [136]
  • police were mindful [162]
  • police advised [172] [174] [175] [177] [178]
  • police informed [178]

Demonstrators perspective:

  • demonstrators alleged [4] [57] [111] [149]
  • demonstrators advised [16] [136]
  • demonstrators told the authority [18]
  • demonstrators claimed [47] [58] [73] [76] [79] [125]
  • demonstrators complained [73] [77] [109] [119] [125] [138] [153] [164]
  • demonstrators questioned why [110]
  • demonstrators believed [112]

The findings

The only issue I am going to address is that of whether the police were justified in their use of force and mass arrests. The other issues in the report (such as police not displaying identification, refusal of the right to speak with a lawyer after arrest, and whether the force was brutal or excessive) are not unimportant however this post is already long enough.

[115] The demonstrators did not advise the Police or Auckland City Council of their intentions during either demonstration.

The IPCA is relying solely (as far as I can tell) on Police evidence to support this finding. Nowhere in the report is there even a suggestion that this fact is in dispute.

[34] As a result of this uncertainty, a liaison of ficer (Officer C), a sergeant, was appointed to communicate with the demonstrators during the protest in an attempt to find out what their plans entailed and the route they were to take.

[36] Officer A tasked Officer C to make contact with the demonstration leaders to try to find out what their plan was and the intended route.

[37] However, after trying to engage with the leaders for about 10 minutes, Officer C was unable to get any information on the demonstrators’ intentions.

Apparently the IPCA’s investigation was quite broad and included interviews with 19 protesters and an “examination and analysis of YouTube video”. Maybe none of the protesters gave a differing view. Maybe it was just an accident that the YouTube analysis missed any video that ran counter to the Police version of events. The video (and transcript) I mentioned earlier show the protest organisers speaking very clearly with the Police Liaison Officer about their intentions.

[106] The Authority’s investigation included:

  • a visit to the scene at Symonds Street and surrounding area;
  • interviews with key Police staff who were involved with the incident;
  • interviews with 19 of the complainants;
  • consideration of the Police and complainants’ recordings of events;
  • examination and analysis of YouTube video and TV news footage; and
  • independent examination and analysis of all evidence in the Police investigation file.

Funnily enough the protesters’ intentions (to block the road but only if they had the numbers) at the beginning of the protest aligned quite nicely with what Officer B (second in charge) told the IPCA the police intentions were:

[29] Officer B told the Authority that it was his intention to allow a protest to occur, with Police escorting them to their destination. He said depending on numbers he would allow them to use one lane of the road, or if the demonstrators numbered into the hundreds, to occupy the whole road.

[118] The Authority is satisfied that the Police helped the demonstration proceed peacefully until the actions of the demonstrators, in sitting and blocking part of Symonds Street, required more active policing.

This finding is directly contradicted in the report itself where it acknowledges that right from the start of the march the Police started trying to push the protesters off the road and onto the footpath.

[41] At approximately 3pm the group of demonstrators, which by this stage numbered over a hundred, began to move from the University library east onto Alfred Street and then south down Symonds Street. This section of Symonds Street has two lanes in each direction. As the demonstrators moved off they began to move into the two south bound lanes which created some minor traffic disruption. Officer A instructed Police to help clear the road by channelling the demonstrators onto the footpath while Officer B, at the same time, was giving instructions to the demonstrators to move onto the footpath using the loud-hailer.

[42] In an effort to prevent the demonstrators from taking over more of the road, Police officers in the March Group walked alongside them and, at the same time, attempted to move them towards the footpath. Although the demonstrators became quite compact they were spread over a distance of 50 to 80 metres.

[43] After walking a short distance along Symonds Street the demonstrators responded to a person in the group saying “sit down, sit down” and they collectively sat down in the middle of the two southbound lanes, blocking one lane. At that time Officer A decided to place officers at the front of the group so that efforts could be made to talk to the perceived organisers to help identify their intentions. Officer A said that at this stage, the aim of Police was to allow the group to demonstrate in a safe manner but that Police wanted to move the demonstrators onto the footpath.

[44] He also told them that they could protest peacefully on the footpath but they could not stay on the road.

Pushing the protesters off the road right from the start of the march is at odds with Officer B’s evidence that the police intentions were to allow the protesters to march up the road if they had the numbers. Officer B stated that numbers “in the hundreds” would warrant taking over both lanes. The report contains some contradictions in the count of protesters but it’s pretty clear that the numbers were “in the hundreds”:

[41] At approximately 3pm the group of demonstrators, which by this stage numbered over a hundred…

[42] Although the demonstrators became quite compact they were spread over a distance of 50 to 80 metres.

[70] Officer A said that around 200-300 demonstrators went to the Police station which caused it to go into ‘lock-down’.

The most conservative estimate of numbers by the police is over a hundred from the start of the march (surely enough to warrant marching up at least one lane of the road). The Police evidence that when the protesters became “quite compact” they were still “spread over a distance of 50 to 80 metres. That suggests at least a couple of hundred people. Officer A then states that there were 200-300 demonstrators protesting at the Police Station and that was after 43 of them had been arrested!

[150] In response to complaints that Police dictated where the demonstrators could or could not go, Police told the Authority that as they did not know the demonstrators’ intentions they had to follow where they went rather than lead them.

Another assertion that the Police did not know the protesters’ intentions. Apparently trying to push the protesters off the road was not dictating “where the demonstrators could or could not go”!

The IPCA believes that trying to push protesters off the road is “helping the demonstration proceed peacefully”.

[146] It was only when the demonstrators sat down and blocked the southbound lanes of Symonds Street, causing obstruction and traffic disruption, that the Police took action against them.

It is the view of the IPCA that trying to push the protesters off the road was not taking action against them. The protesters claim that the call to sit down was in response to the police trying to get them off the road. Strangely, despite 19 interviews with protesters, the IPCA didn’t include one comment on the opposing view in their report.

[45] Officers A and B told the Authority that before any information could be gained on the intention of the demonstration, they all stood up and again began to move south along Symonds Street. Officers A and B both told the Authority that when this happened, they believed that the demonstrators intended to repeat the disruption to traffic of 24 May.

[46] The group continued to walk for about 80 to 100 metres south along Symonds Street before sitting down in the road again, blocking one side of the road (see map). Officer A told the Authority that he thought that this second sit down meant that the demonstrators were even “more likely to go into a major intersection and repeat what they had on 24 May and with the associated disruption”.

An alternative finding, at least an opposing view to consider, is that the protesters sat down again because they were concerned about police moves to try and get them off the road. It is much easier to defend your position sitting down.

[158] The Authority is satisfied that Police acted in accordance with policy in carrying out the arrests. Warnings were given prior to arrests in accordance with legislation. Although three out of the four people arrested were discharged without conviction and the other had his case dismissed when they appeared in Court, the Authority is satisfied that the Police did not make unnecessary arrests.

The IPCA report makes brief mention of the arrest of protest leaders post the mass arrests on the road but doesn’t even attempt to consider this when making their finding that the Police did not make unnecessary arrests:

[66] However, after a short distance the demonstrators turned around, returning to a grass bank area near the Symonds Street intersection with Grafton Road. At this point Police identified key leaders as “rarking up” the group and encouraging non-compliance with Police and disorder. Officer A gave instructions for these few people to be arrested, with the hope that if these individuals were removed the group would lose its leadership and disperse.

Protest leaders “Rarking up” the group was suggesting that the protesters continue their march up the road and assert their right to protest.

No reference to precedent

The IPCA report makes reference to the Summary Offences Act 1981 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Its legal analysis goes no further than noting a few sections from each of these pieces of legislation and then making vague statements about balancing the two. I suspect a 2nd year law student (maybe even 1st year?) would fail an essay with legal analysis as poor as that in the report. There is absolutely no mention of any legal precedent or case law.

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act was passed 9 years after the Summary Offences Act. Even pre-1990 however there is plenty of legal precedent weighing up the right to protest with offences under other legislation. In the last few years there have been a number of decisions in the Supreme Court, notably Morse v Police and Brooker v Police, that have offered further clarity around the balancing exercise between the right to protest and public order.

That the IPCA didn’t even see fit to address the precedents and how their findings are consistent with them is appalling. A decision by the “Independent Police Conduct Authority” that determines “whether any Police conduct, policy, practice or procedure (which was the subject of the complaint) was contrary to law, unreasonable, unjustified, unfair, or undesirable” sets its own precedent. This is the standard that the police hold themselves to. The police will use this decision as justification for their actions. Future Police actions and policies will be influenced by this decision.

Do we want to live in a country where our right to protest and limits on that are set by the highest courts in the land or do we want it set by Police? Do we want predictability and consistency around the right to protest or do we want the Police to be able to decide arbitrarily when it is or isn’t ok to march up the road?

Media Coverage

My final thought is concern that the IPCA is taken seriously. Its reports carry a false sense of authority, independence and finality. This is clearly showing just in the news headlines from yesterday after the report was released:

  • Stuff.co.nz: ‘Blockade the Budget’ protest cops cleared
  • NZ Herald: Police cleared over Blockade the Budget protest
  • Radio NZ: police cleared of protest brutality

21 comments on “Time for a real Police Tribunal?”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Norightturn keeps an extensive list of police quasi-corruption, illegal actions and lies that have never been punished. My impression is the number of serious illegal incidents involving police officers is accelerating as it becomes clearer and clearer that in the current media/political environment they can operate with near impunity. History tells us that when a police force thinks itself above the law and immune to consequences it becomes, very rapidly, a corrupt, deep state, organisation.

    For the sake of the best traditions of our police force, and for our democracy, the introduction of proper oversight by a new and more critical police tribunal is of the utmost importance.

  2. philj 2

    The law is an ass. But is it the best ass we can afford?

    • Squirrel 2.1

      If we can devote courtrooms to dealing with minor crimes like shoplifting and burglary then I think we can devote some resources to holding the police accountable for their actions.

      Also it’s not as if this investigation and decision were free. It just fails to take account of any of the relevant caselaw and is internally inconsistent.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Well written Rocky, great research for people to consider. Those with some real life experience of the plods readily consider them bent but facts like these assist making the case to others.

    And some want to openly arm the blue bellies!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Yes , its to Blips usual high standard.

      A suggestion, you should write to the Chair of IPCA listing your concerns as detailed above, especially noting the discrepancies.
      You never know, they could revise their report ( as happens with court judgements from appeal courts, but done on the sly)

  4. Minarch 4

    IMO the IPCA should be staffed by CITIZENS on a “jury service” type of system

    and we should make the police wear body-cams for the safety of the public

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Agree on cams, they cannot be trusted with the “Peruvian marching powder” or more than a spot of dak in evidence lock ups so why trust them on anything else?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Well, that seems to show that the IPCA is no more independent of the police than a boil.

    • adam 5.1

      No Draco, a boil has more independance.

      I think it has gone beyond time the police were radically and fundamentally changed. If you’re of a social democratic bent.

      1. Power unto themselves.
      2. Not above political interference.
      3. Inability to bring certain cases to court – Other systemic failures at PSP (Police Prosecution Service) – DIre need for independent Prosecution Service.
      4. Militarisation of a civilian organisation, is at the least, unreasonable.
      5. The IPCA is a joke – Need real/court type powers – So it has independence and teeth.

      None of the above will change, police have become the handmaidens of the corporate elects. They are fast becoming alienated from society at large, and don’t seem to want to stem that tide. I always hoped the good people in the police would win out, in reality the meretricious crowd are winning.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.1

        The pressure put on any “good guys” by the standard cops is immense. Everyone either adapts or leaves. It’s not quite “Your force, love it or leave it” but it’s pretty close. The absence of any real consequences for a lot of the crook stuff they do is a real impediment to fixing anything.

  6. Minarch 6

    Citizens need to start holding the police accountable,

    like they did in Ferguson Missouri

  7. greywarshark 7

    First thought after seeing heading – Yes indeed.

    Minarch – link to that case in Ferguson Missouri?

  8. Tracey 8

    why does it take them so longer to report? a more cynical soul than i might think it puts enough distance between the event and their conclusion that the public dont give a shit…

    • Tracey 8.1

      given cops are required to document events immediately, and video was available, the only delay should be collecting other witness statements, protestors and bystanders…

  9. Lan 9

    Experience of trivial commercial IT case that went on so long ..about 3 years .. everyone including judge seemed to have forgotten what it was about – same with Police Conduct Authority..meanwhile case started, and concluded, in the Disputes Tribunal where mediator (?) now a judge just said “Extraordinary” and finally closed the combatant down with an order to write a (small) cheque! One would have thought these expensive spurious poorly researched events would improve practice but it seems not so.

  10. Minarch 10

    I Find it odd that the police seem to be perfectly capable of fitting OTHER people up for crimes they “didnt commit” like Arthur Alan Thompson and a long list of others

    so why not the roast busters ?

    • Murray Rawshark 10.1

      Ummm…I don’t think that’s really a path they should follow, but you put a smile on my dial anyway. 🙂

  11. Sable 11

    If you have a corrupt government you can not expect the instruments of that government to be used honestly…

  12. Richard Christie 12

    Curruthers appointment has been a great disappointment for those with an interest in accountability and justice.

    Long ago it became apparent that he is of the same cut as D Fisher and K McDonald.

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    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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