Timeline: Key responsible for SIS release

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, August 25th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I am (shamelessly) reposting this for the week day shift. I have added BLiP’s comment from the first posting to the end of it.


There’s a confusing amount of detail swirling around the release of SIS briefing notes to Cameron Slater – one of the main issues summarised in Dirty Politics. I was certainly confused earlier in the week, so I set out to pull together a timeline of events.

TLDR? Key is responsible for the release. For the long version read on.

Update: Hooton and Williams on Nine to Noon on the SIS release


 

“When you talk to my chief of staff, you talk to me.”

The 2011 incident behind all this is the possible operation of Israeli spies in NZ and an SIS investigation into this. By far the best summary is here.   Phil Goff denied that he was briefed by the SIS.  Briefing notes (redacted) from the SIS contradicting Goff were released under the OIA to Slater, who published them.  Was there political interference in the process?  To what extent was Key and his office involved?

Here’s a timeline.
My comments are in italics.

2011

July 20
Following an article in the Southland Times the original story (involving possible Israeli spies and the SIS) breaks.  Interview with Key: “Speaking to reporters in San Francisco this afternoon, Mr Key said there was a police and SIS investigation because of the rapid way in which the Israelis left the country after the February earthquake.  …  Currently on tour in the US, he said it was “not in the national interest” to give details of any SIS inquiry.

July 23
Key’s US visit ends and he goes to Hawaii on holiday.

July 24
John Key on Q&A – conducted while he was in Hawaii

Phil Goff was briefed, yeah, that’s right. I personally didn’t brief him, but my understanding from the director of SIS, Warren Tucker, is that he was briefed and he was shown the same note and report that I saw.

Note that Key and Tucker have been in touch about this while Key is not in NZ – so they certainly communicate while Key is abroad.

July 24
John Key says the SIS briefed Phil Goff about the behaviour of Israeli nationals in Christchurch. Mr Goff contacts SIS director Dr Warren Tucker to say he had not been briefed.”

July 25
Mr Goff and Dr Tucker meet to discuss the matter.”

July 25 
Whaleoil post “Goff Needs to go
“All someone has to do now is ask Warren Tucker to produce the briefing notes and Goff is a goner.”

July 26
Dirty Politics, Chapter 3: “The following day [July 26] he [Slater] sent a carefully worded information request to Tucker [SIS] asking for copies of the briefing notes and ‘details of any acknowledgement’ that Goff had read them [6]” … “The released documents were stamped as being declassified on 26 July 2011, the same day that Slater sent off his request.”

Who declassified these documents?  What authority is required to do that? Polity blog 2014: “The classified SIS documents were almost immediately declassified, for reasons nobody has explained.”

July 28
Dirty Politics, Chapter 3, discussion between Slater and “Smith”: “I’ll finish him [Goff] off in the next couple of days. ‘More dirt?’ Smith asked.  ‘Can’t say right now,’ Slater said. ‘I’m sworn to secrecy.  But it will be catastrophic.’

Who swore Slater to secrecy?  How did he know it will be “catastrophic”?

July 31
Key returns from holiday.

Key says he was on holiday when all this took place, but note the time gap until…

August 2
Documents released to Slater.

Fairfax had requested the same document a few days earlier and the SIS refused to release it to them. (Text since deleted from this article but still available on Google reads: “The documents were released to Slater six days after he requested them, but a request from Fairfax Media for the same documents was denied.”).  A third request, the documents were requested by Selwyn Manning at Scoop on 29 July and released to him 8th August.  Manning: “As I understand it, the Dominion Post put in one that was very closely worded [to mine] but didn’t get a response. I am left to consider whether my OIA request was in some way used to legitimise the security information drop to the Whaleoil site.”

The SIS claim is that Slater’s request was actioned so quickly, and apparently preferentially, because it was more specifically worded than other requests.  Hmmmm.

August 2
(Whaledump: Slater & Bhatnagar chat, edited for clarity)
Slater: Should be a big day tomorrow
if my PO Box has a nice brown envelope with OHMS on it
I OIAd the briefing minutes and notes for Goff’s SIS briefing
it has been expedited
in the public interest
it is devastating for Goff I am told

August 3
(Whaledump: Slater & Bhatnagar chat, edited for clarity)
Bhatnagar: did the package arrive?
Slater: nope
getting really annoyed
will check again tonight and again in teh am
probably going to be ganked by MSM in Wgtn getting the docs first which will be annoying

August 4
(Whaledump: Slater & Bhatnagar chat, edited for clarity)
Bhatnagar: I take it you have a deal with one of the TV channels over the SIS reply?
Slater: yep tv3
Bhatnagar: garner?
Slater: yep
other media are now calling
feeding frenzy

August 4
Whaleoil post releasing the redacted SIS briefing notes. “Phil Goff and his briefings he never had

A summary at this point from Dirty Politics, Chapter 3: “Slater had been ‘sworn to secrecy’; he knew from the start that his information request had ‘been expedited’ and that the documents were devastating for Goff. He was working clandestinely with insiders who knew what the briefing paper said and were involved in its release to him under the OIA. Those insiders can only have been in the SIS or Key’s office. … In other words, it was not the SIS that tipped off Slater and arranged for him to run the attack. It was the prime minister’s staff. Given that it was highly political SIS business, there seems no doubt that John Key knew what was happening, approved it and had his staff liaise with Slater about the release.”

August 5
Journalists are suspicious. Sludge Report on Scoop : “What communication was there between the 9th floor and, a) Cameron Slater and other journalists, and b) the SIS and Tucker, around the release of the document?”

August 8
John Key press conference,  video

What happened is Warren Tucker didn’t come to me, he went to his legal adviser and his legal advisers told him this is the process they have to follow and when he was going through that process it was at that point he told me he’d release it because he has to tell me that under the no-surprises doctrine.” [my emphasis]

Watch the video above  – Key says that he was told, not his Office.  He seems very well informed.  The reporters at this event, and the Sludge Report August 5th, are all suspicious that Slater has been given very special treatment.  Hence the OIA requests from Felix Marwick below…

November 9
Letter from SIS director to Felix Marwick NewstalkZB – Tucker writes:

Following discussion with the Office of the Ombudsmen, in relation to your request of 4 August, I can confirm that there was no written “correspondence with the Government and the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the NZSIS decision to release information to Mr Cameron Slater”. I notified the Prime Minister (in accordance with my usual practice to keep the Minister informed on a “no surprises” basis) that I was going to release redacted documents in response to the request from Mr Slater. I advised the Prime Minister that I had received legal advice that there were no grounds for withholding the information given the public disclosures already made about the existence and some of the content of the briefing. I informed the Prime Minister that I had informed Mr Goff of my decision to release the information.  [my emphasis]

October 31
Letter from the office of the Ombudsman to Felix Marwick NewstalkZB:

“Dr Tucker has advised Ms Wakem that he is prepared to release a statement regarding his discussion with the Prime Minister…” “There is no written correspondence with the Government and the Office of the Prime Minister…” “Ms Wakem is of the view that there is good reason to withhold Dr Tucker’s full recollection of his discussion with the Prime Minister…”

We are required to believe that all references to the Prime Minister in fact refer to the Office of the Prime Minister (despite the fact that the Office of the Prime minister is clearly distinguished in some cases).   As Manning points out, the government’s own guidelines require Key to have been informed.

Now fast forward to …

2014

August 13
Publication of Dirty politics by Nicky Hager, Chapter 3 describes the way in which Slater worked with the PMs Office on the release of the SIS briefing documents in 2011 as above.

Hager confirms a lot of suspicions that were prevalent at the time, as above. 

August 21 
Key denies political interference.  John Key: “The basic claim that somehow my office was either pressuring the system, speeding up the process, injecting itself into the process – all of that is flatly incorrect.” (This quote no longer appears in the original source.)  From Stuff:

Key said from time to time he had had discussions with Tucker about the release of OIAs. “But prior to the release of this one I didn’t have any discussions at all. ” He had got back from holiday on July 31 and the discussions about the OIA took place before that. The release went out on August 2 but there was no discussion between him and Tucker about it.  “He did deal with my office but the claims that have been made … that there was political interference that’s absolutely not true.” … Key said Tucker had briefed someone in his office. He would not name the person, but said it was not Jason Ede. … He did not have any details and had not asked those in his office about how Slater had known it would be “devastating for Goff” before it was released.  [my emphasis]

August 21
There will be an investigation: “Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn will investigate the release of SIS documents to Cameron Slater.” (Unlikely to report until after the election.)

August 22
John Key, commenting on the video of August 8 2011: “In the context of that video, ‘me’ meant my office”.

Yeah right.

My conclusions:

Key wants us to believe two contradictory things:
(1) He and his office are so indivisible that when he and others refer to him(self) they are really referring to his office.
(2) He and his and office are so separate that when his office was briefed on the documents released to Slater he was completely unaware of it.

Point 1 is rubbish.  Too many people, including John Key himself, refer to “the Prime Minister” / “me” being informed, for them all to have mistakenly meant the Office of the Prime Minister (especially given that some of them carefully distinguish the Office on some occasions).  We have seen an “orchestrated litany of lies” before in this country, we are seeing something similar now.

Point 2 is rubbish.  When John Key said on August 8 2011 “It was at that point he [Tucker] told me he’d release it because he has to tell me that under the no-surprises doctrine” he knew exactly what was going on.  He can pretend that Tucker told his office and not him, but he can’t deny that in either case he was fully in the loop on August 8th – because that is him right there in the video speaking the words, not his office.

In the end splitting hairs about Key vs his office is just a distraction. Key is responsible for the actions of himself, and the actions of his office, and is the Minister in charge of the SIS. The fingerprints of political interference are all over this event, from the unexplained de-classification of the document (who authorised this?), to its expedited release, to Slater knowing in advance (who swore Slater to secrecy?) what it contained, to the denial of a request from Fairfax for the same document (on what grounds?).  The buck stops with Key.  If he gets away with it, our democracy is stuffed.


BLiPs comment:

Hello Mr R0BINS – how nice to have back here posting for us.

I agree entirely with your TLDR conclusion that “Key is responsible for the release”. The joining of the dots timeline you have produced must have taken some time to compile, thank you. How interesting that various bits and pieces are being excised from the intrawebz by the MSM. I too have found that to be the case, especially when tracking down details of John Key’s lies. I have also noticed that various blogs,keepingstock being one example, have recently started doing the same. Frustrating.

I do wonder, though, if you’re timeline isn’t missing a couple of important things. First, one of the major messages to come from Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics is the sheer sophistication of John Key’s Black Ops Department tactics and the concomitant efficiency of the vital “plausible deniability” aspect. In one of the videos, John Key talks about how he has “streamlined” the “no surprises” process and how he himself has been somewhat taken aback at some of what has been released into the public domain by his spies. This, of course, is a short-hand announcement that when an agency says it has spoken to the Prime Minister what that really means is that the agency as not spoken to the Prime Minister but has advised the Prime Minister’s Office. No need to say who in the Prime Minister’s Officer and/or whether or not that person passed the information along to someone else in the Prime Minister’s Office. Cut-outs left, right and centre. The glib manner in which this plausible deniability line is being delivered indicates a fair amount of rehearsal has gone into it. In fact, I expect that if Kim Dotcom’s 15 September reveal does confirm that the Prime Minister knew of Dotcom and his situation well in advance of when John Key says he did, we will see this same line being delivered with the same dimissive alacrity.

Second, what seems to be missing from the timeline is what was going on for John Key at the time and the fact that the SIS “took legal advice” prior to the release of the briefing notes.

What was going on for John Key is that he was facing a barrage of criticism for what should’ve been – in his mind – a spectacular display his overwhelming wonderfulness. There he was, on the international stage, standing side-by-side with POTUS speaking out on a dreadful situation before the mass media. ‘Cept, John Key fucked it up. Also worthy of mention is that John Key had been caught out lying about how many passports were found on the Israeli Mosad agent “tourist”. John Key went to obfuscate his way out of that one but repeatedly said that there had been no illegality surrounding the issuing of New Zealand passports at that time. The questions were being asked because of the 2004 incident when Mosad agents Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara were caught trying to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports. Does New Zealand now allow spies to use New Zealand passports? Anyhow, the point is, John Key’s showboating on the international stage had turned to custard and inconvenient questions about New Zealand passports and Israeli spies were being asked. This provides both John Key and the spy agencies motivation to distract the media and the public.

Now, when John Key says Warren Tucker spoke to the SIS lawyers, what he means is that Warren Tucker went off to Crown Law to cover his arse and make sure his release of the, albeit hugely redacted, Phil Goff briefing notes was legit. Questions I have about Tucker’s visit to Crown Law is whether or not Crown Law was being used as a cut-out and/or to reinforce actual instructions from the Prime Minister’s office to release the information. Remember, the sole reason given as to why the briefing notes were declassified is that the material was already in the public arena and the only reason the material was in the public arena was because John Key had put it there. That, my friend, is called a “set up”.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that Warren Tucker is himself something of a dodgy bugger. There are various incidents involving the SIS and GCSB when Tucker was pulling the levers which cannot accurately be pinned directly on him. But, remember all the fuss and palava about why the GCSB had to be given the right to wholesale spy on New Zealanders was because “the law was not clear”? Well, back on 30 January 2006, Warren Tucker said . . .

. . . The GCSB’s twin roles and functions are spelled out in the GCSB Act 2003. These are – first to collect and report secret foreign intelligence derived from the interception and analysis offoreign communications, on matters of importance to the New Zealand Government. Secondly, the GCSB provides the tools and advice necessary to ensure that the communications systems and computer networks used for official and governmental business and for critical infrastructure are properly protected from tampering and from unauthorised access. These twin roles are likened by some to that of “poacher” and “gamekeeper”, and it is no accident that they both reside within the one organisation. The GCSB Act – which enshrines in law the longstanding practices of the Bureau – makes it absolutely clear that the GCSB must not target the communications of New Zealanders . . .

^^^ emphasis in original

. . . yet, Tucker didn’t issue a single peep during John Key’s ramming through of the new legislation.

A big part of John Key’s justification for allowing the wholesale spying on New Zealanders was that the legislative changes also strengthened oversight. We now have Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security with a broadened mandate and greater authority. Trouble is, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is Cheryl Gwyn who, up until April 2014, was the Deputy Solicitor-General at Crown Law, the very same Government agency which cleared Warren Tucker’s release of Phil Goff’s briefing notes. What’s more, the Crown Law Counsel for constitutional, human rights and international law, Ben Keith, has only just recently been appointed as the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. That is the same Ben Keith who, in his previous role as Crown Law Counsel for constitutional, human rights and international law, has assisted National Ltd™ through its Attorney-General Chris Finlayson in thesystematic trashing of all sorts of human rights legislation. Among other things, he was the one from Crown Law who signed off on the GCSB legislation as being “consistent” with the Human Rights Act.

In short, the only people investigating John Key’s involvement in the release of Phil Goff’s briefing notes the very people who gave the okay for the release of the notes. We’re fucked. Basically we will never find an actual smoking gun in John Key’s hand in releation to this matter because of the players involved and the sophistication of John Key’s malfeasance.

 

30 comments on “Timeline: Key responsible for SIS release”

  1. disturbed 1

    This blog should be posted all the way to the election hopefully getting some MSM debate, so thanks for the care Rob,

    This loss of civic integrity has destroyed our founding fathers principals enshrined in law and principals of honest governance, and is a shameless example of how low our political horizon has become today something akin to a return to the wild west again.

    We must vote these merchants of corruption out of governance in September.

  2. vto 2

    You know what really annoys me is the people who say “who cares” ….

    Because it is clear that those people don’t care, and they also have no idea.

    In the same way that KDC’s issues reverberate to the very heart of our system, so too do these actions by the Prime Minister. They are in fact more important than actual policy… what is the point in pouring policy into a machine which is fucked? The machine needs urgent overhaul and repair.

  3. Adrian 3

    What if it was Tucker directly talking and to Slater? And demanding secrecy?

    • CM 3.1

      This is exactly what I posted on the last version. Goff may indeed be ‘naive’ enough to believe that it couldn’t possibly be Tucker/SIS instead of Key who was dealing with Slater (via a mole in Key’s office?).
      I would like to know more about Tuckers background and proclivities.

  4. The machine needs urgent overhaul and repair.

    If only it were that easy. The source of the corruption goes back to the traditions of the civil government which was established here by the house of Windsor. Civil systems and common law systems have some pretty fundamental philosophical differences, for example the will of the people vs the well-being of the people.

  5. yeshe 5

    It’s the second to last paragraph that leaves me feeling sick; there are no safeguards. Our supposed watchdogs are 100% beholden to the ones who whistle and hold the dog biscuit tin.

  6. Tom Jackson 6

    Thank you for posting this. It does illuminate an awful lot (pun intended).

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Gwen & Keith have serious conflicts of interest, which may form grounds for judicial review of any inquiry they head. They must tread carefully to come out clean. Throwing Key under a bus has to be an option.

  8. logie97 8

    …and on Nine to Noon today, even Matthew Hooten believes Key is lying.

    • Hami Shearlie 8.1

      That from Hooten should make all right-wing voters wake up and actually read the book – not holding my breath though!! I think the shock might even be too much for them!!

  9. ianmac 9

    Great work Rob and BLiPs. Some people face problems by pretending that they don’t exist. Cancer symptoms? A noise in the car? Funny weather? There are many National supporters who will be pretending that all is well and maybe as loyalists all will be well. But…

  10. kenny 10

    I thought Rebecca Kitteridge said last week that she had authorised the release. She is the director of the SIS. What role does Warren Tucker play?

    • Zorr 10.1

      Warren Tucker was the director of the SIS at the time. Rebecca has only started in that role in the last 6-9 months…

      • politikiwi 10.1.1

        If I put my tinfoil hat on, I wonder whether Kitteridge was offered the director job of the SIS as a quid pro quo for not finding anything too damning during her report into the GCSB.

        Totally wild speculation on my part as I have nothing to back up the theory, but I do wonder….

        • Anne 10.1.1.1

          So do I.. the fact she jumped in last week and “backed” John Key’s lying over the SIS/Goff debacle indicates there was likely more to that appointment than meets the eye. Why did she have to comment at all? It had nothing to do with her. She wasn’t a part of the SIS at that time. Or was she…?

  11. Ted Blaikie 11

    I submitted the following letter to to the Editor of the DomPost but it was never published. I thought it made a reasonable point at that time…..

    It surprises me that no one seems to have made the connection between Nicky Hager’s and Edward Snowdon’s revelations.

    A common response to the Surveillance State is that “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”. However, as history shows, the real danger of a Surveillance State is that once established, it is inevitably turned against the political opponents of the ruling elite.

    As the minister responsible for the SIS and GCSB, John Key promoted changes to the GCSB legislation in 2013 to remove restrictions on the GCSB’s surveillance of New Zealander’s communications.

    It should concern all New Zealanders that John Key may now be implicated in dirty politics and the misuse of power.

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    John Key’s usual answers:
    “At the end of the day”, “it is just one of those things”, “that was a long time ago”, “I can’t remember” and well, ahem, “when you look at it”, “it is all just a left wing conspiracy”.

  13. Tracey 13

    fascinating post rOb and BLiP

    can anyone quote or paraphrase hooton for us? what exactly does he say key is lying about… why and is he outraged?

  14. Thank you for amazing piece of writing. This is everything Whaleoil isn’t – it’s also the sort of thing our MSM should be doing. Oh how i wish everyone could read this .

    Well done

  15. philj 15

    xox
    I wonder what Jim Mora would do if he read this analysis and discussed it on The Panel?

    • Not a PS Staffer 15.1

      Jim Mora reading for the purpose of being a balanced and informed broadcaster?
      Are you drinking early today? Forgotten your medication?

  16. Not a PS Staffer 16

    Key, if caught out, will lie. The SIS knows where its bread is buttered and his knighthood will come from. The Ombudsman was mad to get involved.

    We are letting Key shape the argument and he will probably win.

    What we have to tell the Voters is that

    1. Key, Collins & Co SYSTEMATICALLY used state agencies and their confidential information to secretly smear anyone who stood up to them and to help their financial supporters.
    2. Key’s office, the National Partry HO, Farrar and Slater were a unified network bullying, feeding and corrupting Media, Employers and anyone to strengthen their hold on power.
  17. Weepus beard 17

    Heard on the wireless that Kim Dotcom told Tova O’Brien that he was unwise to talk about hacking at the IMP launch.

    Given that it was exactly the same speech that he’d delivered up and down the country for the last month, I’m sure he meant he was unwise to assume that NZ media had a braincell. That NZ media could research a story properly instead of going sweaty and wide-eyed at old news.

    • Kiwiri 17.1

      There was nothing new in what KDC said for the reasons you have given (delivered up and down the country for the last month) and also those details have already been youtubed following the many townhall presentations, as well as put in the public domain during a long NewstalkZB interview that has been available online for many weeks now.

      To think we can rely on NZ media actually keeping up with themselves or doing some homework beforehand, or even double checking before reporting – that would be really unrealistic and setting overly high expectations?!

  18. Inky 18

    If Nats supporters continue to keep their heads buried in the sand, Key will be the winner. Unfortunately, and sadly for this country, too many of them are prepared to let him get away with anything short of murder. You can’t expect to find morals where there are none.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    3 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.