Tories bulldoze human rights, your rights

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: human rights, law and "order", national/act government - Tags:

The Attorney-General, National’s Chris Finalyson, has declared that the ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ Bill that National/ACT (and Finlayson himself) are about to vote for violates human rights.

From Finlayson’s report:

attonerygeneral1

What does that mean?

Finlayson is saying that giving a life sentence to a person who is on their third strike for an offence that would see another person, who is not on their third strike, get as little as five years is unjust. See, a just legal system that upholds the rule of law should deliver, amongst other things, equality and fairness. For example, offenders should get the same punishment for the same crime and the punishment should match the crime. Three strikes fails both these requirements.

As Finlayson puts it “[the three strikes law] may result in disparities [in sentence] between offenders that are not rationally based”. The same crime could result in offenders getting different sentences for no good reason. That is arbitrary and any good legal system must avoid arbitariness.

Finlayson goes on to say “[three strikes] may also result in in gross disproportionally in sentencing”. That is, the punishment may be entirely too severe for the seriousness of the crime in the context of the punishment for other crimes and the normal punishment for the crime committed. We have seen this time and again in US states that have three strikes. There defendants have been given sentences of 25 years to life in prison for such crimes as shoplifting golf clubs (Gary Ewing, previous strikes for burglary and robbery with a knife), nine videotapes (Leandro Andrade, received double sentence of 25 year-to-life for 2 counts of shoplifting), or, along with a violent assault, a slice of pepperoni pizza from a group of children (Jerry Dewayne Williams, four previous non-violent felonies, sentence later reduced to six years), and Kevin Weber was sentenced to 26 years to life for the crime of stealing four chocolate chip cookies (previous strikes of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon)*.

No-one is attempting to excuse the criminal, and often violent, actions of these people. But we mustn’t violate the founding tenets of our legal system to punish them a bit more. If a person is a habitual criminal and an ongoing danger to the community, then, as Finlayson’s report notes, preventative detention is available to stop them offending. We have the tools we need. What we don’t need is the blind sledge-hammer of a three strikes law.

This is the second time in a week that Finlayson has been forced to announce that one of his government’s laws will violate the Bill of Rights. National/ACT are smashing our human rights and the bases our justice system needlessly, so they can look tough on crime. It’s not worth it.

43 comments on “Tories bulldoze human rights, your rights ”

  1. marco 1

    Is that kinda like Labour bulldozing freedom of speech with the EFA?

  2. Doug 2

    And like Labour ramming through legislation to cover Corrupt Practise for the theft of Taxpayer funds.

    IrishBill: as I have pointed out to marco below, aside from your abjectly wrong legal premise do you really think that minor election funding issues have anything like the weight of people being denied natural justice in a manner that costs them decades of their lives?

  3. IrishBill 3

    Marco, Putting aside your fundamentally stupid “Labour did it first” argument, no. The EFA was about stopping wealthy lobby groups from spending more than $120,000 on direct election campaigning whereas this law is about taking people’s lives off them simply because they fell into a blunt and absurd legal arithmetic.

    However if you think the right for a tiny proportion of people to spend as much as they want in an election year is as important as the right to be sentenced in a manner that can make allowance for the actual nature and circumstances of a crime then that’s your (rather perverse and inhumane) prerogative.

  4. burt 4

    But the polls tell us the people are loving it.

    IrishBill: removed: nobody likes a linkwhore, burt.

  5. vto 5

    How about, for those that support the three strikes thingy, get around this issue by making it a matter of crime, not sentencing. Namely, make it a serious crime to commit three serious crimes, and the punishment for that particular crime of three crimes a mandatory 25 year term.

    Make it an amendment to the Crimes Act, not a Sentencing and Parole etc Act.

    Surely that would circumvent this problem …

  6. vto 6

    Irishbill, re Burts link, you guys are funny the way you are so selective. No doubt it would have been left up if it had shown Labour on a record 64% rather than National on a record 64% and Labour at 27%.

    Oh well, its your house.

    IrishBill: yep, it is my house.

    [lprent: besides it was a stupid link whore – worthy of someone like the unlamented Rob (not r0b)]

  7. mike 7

    This ammendment only applies to multiple serious violent offenders so the “your rights” heading is spin.

    Good on you going into bat for violent crims though SP – it will see the left vote slip further…. if that’s possible

  8. coge 8

    Since when was violent crime a right Steve? The population has tired of excuses.

  9. Herbert. 9

    Just a minor correction.Tories can’t drive bulldozers.

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    I have to say I spent most of yesterday trying to talk some sense to people on this over at Kiwiblog and was disappointed to note the blind faith belief that itll magically, somehow, all work brilliantly even from people who opinions I usually respect.

    It seems the media have done a truly excellent job of making even rational people believe that packs of “violent crims” are roaming our streets with machetes like something out of a George Romero zombie movie.

    I must be incredibly fortunate, then. I used to short cut back from Courtenay Place to my Terrace office via Vivian and Upper Cuba Streets almost every Friday night for six years, and even worked a graveyard shift on Karangahape Road for a couple of years (no, not that kind of work…) and in all that time there was only once I felt unsafe, and that was a confrontation with a patched gang. And it wasn’t something random, it was over a dispute with my boss.

    Meanwhile at one of the prisons I visit, approximately 200 of these inhuman beasts have happily given a total of $905.50 from their “grats” – which they earn doing tiring physical work like gardening or laundry, it’s not just handed to them each week – to the Victorian bushfire appeal. (the average crim earns about $30 from which they must buy toiletries, shampoo, tobacco, cordial, and any treats such as chocolate or cheese and crackers).

    That was facilitated by a prison officer, who also organised that the textile manufacturing program add “joey pouches” to its output and that these, together with the dog and cat blankets usually made and sold for a profit, also be donated to Victorian vets and animal hospitals.

    Of course this isn’t something corrections want to publicise (it suits them to be perceived as caging animals, not helping them) so the CO emailed “Kochie and Mel” of Seven’s “Sunrise”, who have been having an orgy of faux empathy from the disaster site all week. What a surprise – hers must have been the only email not read out.

    Sorry this has gone a bit off topic, I guess I’m just venting. I didn’t really grasp the meaning of “soul destroying” till I started dealing with these issues… and that’s from someone who’s also helped people through the morass of the Family Court.

  11. Herbert. 11

    “morass of the Family Court”

    For a male in the Family Court a judge rules three strikes after three words are submitted as defence by a forced respondent. Go directly to jail and do not pass go.Roll that dice judge.

    [lprent: d4j – why don’t you just stick to a single pseudonym. You are instantly recognizable ]

  12. Daveski 12

    Busting spin – myth #2 🙂

    This is getting easier by the minute.

    I think there is a worthy principle but frankly unless being an anal-retentive type with a focus on semantics is a criminal offence (BLIP and Tane may think so), then I doubt my rights are being reduced.

    It does get harder to take some of you seriously – SP inability to admit he was wrong on the Key will cut your wages is effectively myth #3.

    As for the EFA, even the Labour party voted to get rid of the turkey but we can’t admit our mistakes here.

    Yes SP, it’s a dumb act, but the hyperbole is completely over the top and almost desperate. You’re better than this

  13. Doug 13

    WHOOPEE

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    Daveski: SP being wrong about one thing (and he was, IMHO, on the EFA) does not preclude him being right about another thing. And on 3 strikes he’s right (as is Finlayson, I might add).

    It’s a bit like burt gleefully pointing out that “the people are loving it” while overlooking the fact that these same “people” elected the Clark government three times.

    Fed a diet of pap by a superficial media “the people” will simply regurgitate the nonsense. Which poses a bit of a problem for someone who, like me, believes in referenda. But that’s what makes democracy a challenge, I guess.

  15. I always enjoy Law and Order debates. The opinions expressed are more based on prejudice than fact than any other debate I can think of.

    The reality over the last few years is that:

    1. Average jail sentences for serious offending has increased dramatically,
    2. Bail laws have tightened up.
    3. The prison muster has increased from 7,000 to 9,000. Many more people are in jail. See 1 and 2.
    4. Criminal offending rates under Labour decreased.

    My experience is that when you say any of the above you invoke a loud vitriolic response from wingnuts and all sorts of counterfacts that by definition are not based in reality.

    What is really needed is an acknowledgment that the NZ Bill of Rights sets out minimum standards that should be applied to all of our citizens. We also need a business case analysis to work out if we should jail citizens or try to rehabilitate them. Rehabilitation is far cheaper and far more successful. I will hold my breath and hope …

    Meanwhile Finlayson ought to be praised for fronting reports that suggest that the proposed legislation is in breach of the BOR. I can only hope that Parliament takes this into account.

  16. Daveski 16

    Rex – fair comment, and I do acknowledge in passing (twice in fact) that there is a valid point.

    For all my failings as a righty, you’d have to be mad to see the inconsistency of the proposed presentation.

    I’m just reacting to the hyperbole – “smashing our human rights and the bases our justice system”. I compare that with the response to the chilling effect on democracy comment and hence I get a little jumpy.

    BTW I enjoy your posts and the sensible contribution you make here and elsewhere. You’re not semantic either and even i can’t stand semantic pricks like me!!

    Cheers

  17. jbc 17

    If you apply the AG’s reasoning to traffic offences then you find that demerit points have the same failing: inconsistency. Driving at 110km/h, one person might get off with 10 demerits, another will lose their license. Where’s the fairness and consistency in that? (actually seems fair to me – the license loser has repeatedly broken the law)

    To agree with the AG’s reasoning then you must believe that a person convicted of their third rape requires no more deterrent than a first time offender.

    Doesn’t the court already give lighter sentences (or none at all) for first-time offenders in less serious crimes? Why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply here?

    All of these things deliver inconsistencies. I’m curious to hear how some are presumably OK, and others not.

  18. Redbaiter 18

    “But we mustn’t violate the founding tenants of our legal system to punish them a bit more. If a person is a habitual criminal and an ongoing danger to the community, then, as Finlayson’s report notes, preventative detention is available to stop them offending. We have the tools we need.”

    Funny then that the uncivilized oaf Clayton Cosgrove was able to introduce his “boy racer” laws, which violate not only the Bill of Rights but also traditional legal principles such as innocent until proven guilty, with little complaint from the left.

  19. Billy 19

    Mickysavage said:

    1. Average jail sentences for serious offending has increased dramatically,
    2. Bail laws have tightened up.
    3. The prison muster has increased from 7,000 to 9,000. Many more people are in jail. See 1 and 2.
    4. Criminal offending rates under Labour decreased.

    Ya reckon items 1,2 and 3 had an impact on 4? If so, I guess you’ll be among those calling for more of the same.

  20. Billy 20

    IrishBill said: The EFA was about stopping wealthy lobby groups from spending more than $120,000 on direct election campaigning …

    You still defending this thing IB? What with the actual Labour Party abandoning it, you know that makes you kinda on your own.

  21. lprent 21

    Nope – I do as well. I don’t think that the NZLP hasn’t ‘abandoned’ the principles. They will continue to push for the same things.

    It is going to be interesting to see exactly what the Nats mean when they talk about cross-party agreement? Something like we’ll ram our ideas through under urgency based on their current track record (with the deafening silence and implicit compliance of the anti-EFA crew would be my suspicion).

    So what do you think should be the restriction on third parties. That they are allowed to spend more than political parties? That they can pay for votes as people enter or exit the booths?

  22. jbc: “To agree with the AG’s reasoning then you must believe that a person convicted of their third rape requires no more deterrent than a first time offender.”

    Steve Pierson:”preventative detention is available ”

    Redbaiter:
    “Funny then that the uncivilized oaf Clayton Cosgrove was able to introduce his “boy racer’ laws, which violate not only the Bill of Rights but also traditional legal principles such as innocent until proven guilty, with little complaint from the left.”

    I certainly complained. Though your right, it is hard finding people to go into bat for boy racers.

    What do you think the solution might be? I sometimes wonder if the Bill of Rights should be elevated to written constitutional status, and have the Supreme Court able to strike down laws, though I fear that may lead to all sorts of unintended consequences.

  23. Edit to end of above: “I certainly complained. Though your right, it is hard finding people to go into bat for boy racers.” And now we will shortly have round 2 (unless you count the exhuast laws aswell) to deal with.

  24. Rex Widerstrom 24

    mickeysavage suggests:

    We also need a business case analysis to work out if we should jail citizens or try to rehabilitate them. Rehabilitation is far cheaper and far more successful.

    Damn right we do. We need desperately to get this debate out of the emotive and into the practical.

    I’ll admit that when someone says “prison” my first thought is of the estimated 40 or so people in NZ (extrapolated from international statistics) who are wrongfully convicted. Then for those on remand, around half of whom (again, based on international averages) will eventually either be found not guilty or have the charges dropped before trial. Then there’s the group who are guilty but whose sentences, for one reason or another, are unduly harsh when compared to similar cases.

    But that overlooks the majority who undoubtedly deserve to be there (albeit perhaps as part of a wider rehabilitative effort), and the handful of sociopaths and psychopaths who should probably never be released.

    The emotions on the other side of the debate are well canvassed elsewhere.

    Our only refuge is statistics. Accurate statistics, devoid of emotional overlay, upon which we can base rational policy.

    I commend The Standard for repeatedly raising issues around corrections and providing a forum on which they can be debated in a reasonably sensible way. But on blogs we’re really preaching to the converted on the one hand, and the hopelessly lost on the other (as seen from both sides of the argument).

    Again I find myself lamenting our lack of media capable of, and willing to, engage in intelligent national debate.

  25. Oliver 25

    I think it’s worthwhile to point out that this is an Act bill that National has agreed to support to the first reading. I’d be extraordinarily suprirsed if this made it past select commitee.

    Just as a mildly relevatn aside, how many NZ 1st Bills did Labour support to select commitee without having any intention of pushing onward towards a second reading.

  26. See, a just legal system that upholds the rule of law should deliver, amongst other things, equality and fairness. For example, offenders should get the same punishment for the same crime…

    In other words, BORA says we should stop treating “first offence” as a mitigating factor? I hope not…

  27. Billy

    Not at all. The crime rate reduced because unemployment decreased significantly ant it was helped by the Government putting more resources into rehabilitation for young and adult offenders.

    I mention the incarceration rate and the length of sentences to counter the continuously stated counterfact that Labour was soft on crime. It is very clear to me they were actually hard on criminal offending.

  28. SBlount 28

    “I’ll admit that when someone says “prison’ my first thought is of the estimated 40 or so people in NZ (extrapolated from international statistics) who are wrongfully convicted.”

    I don’t think sentencing should be based on what is appropriate for an innocent person. A sentence is given to someone who has committed the offence. If innocent people have been convicted then the trial process needs to be improved.

  29. mike 29

    Why is that we hear of prisoners or criminals ‘rights’ ,when these same people have been trampling all over other peoples ‘rights’ for years.
    In my book if you remove, or try to remove or ignore , others rights, then you loose you own claim to any ‘rights’.
    I think removing and ignoring others rights to live without being beaten up three times (thats just the prosecution record – let alone the number of times they werent taken to court) is plenty enough reason to lock these bums up for quite some time – or take the signapore approch – give them a beating with the birch. Very few of the people (who talk about criminals rights ever talk about solving these problems without some form of serious punishment) seem to recognise that the birch works in singapore – and work very well. They dont have problems with crims coming back for a third serving!!.

  30. SBlount 30

    When it comes to rehabilitation and incarceration debates, I think the costs to society of crime are almost always underestimated.

    The death of a productive member of society like Karl Kuchenbecker means the loss of income for the people his earnings support (at home and via taxes), a loss usually greater than his salary for his workplace, and the loss of any voluntary contribution he made to his community. I would guess the cost to society of losing someone earning the average wage or more to be at least $500,000 per year ongoing.

    Rehabilitation of some criminals is possible but expensive to apply to all, it is well worth spending the money to avoid the worst outcomes though. And incarcerating someone who would end up killing costs $100,000 per year, is well worth the cost.

  31. @ work 31

    “mike
    In my book if you remove, or try to remove or ignore , others rights, then you loose you own claim to any ‘rights’.”

    See that scanned bit of text above…

  32. Herbert. 32

    Dear psycho, the BORA is as useless as tin foil toilet paper. Rudith told me that.

  33. @ work 33

    Hold the press: Don’t worry guys, David Garret says its only scumbags who will be put in jail for life, that makes it all ok then I guess.

    In other news, I am putting my name foward for position of “Cheif Scumbag Ajudicator”, any letters of support for my application are welcome.

  34. Tigger 34

    So will Finlayson vote for it? And since Power is Min of Justice can he vote for it (violating human rights is inherently not just). And of course, will the Maori Party vote for it given that Maori will disproportionately be incarcerated as a result of the law?

  35. I think three strikes and your out is a good law if it is used for the real violent offenders, if your a serial rapist, I don’t think you should be in society.

    [that’s what preventative detention is used for right now. SP]

  36. Pixie 36

    What the three strike bill does is create status crimes. It makes the fact that a person has a particular status that of being a repeat offender not only an aggravating factor in sentencing, but a sufficient condition for a new category of offence. Murder at strike three, for example, becomes “strike-three-murder.’ So, two people could be charged ostensibly with the same offence, but really face conviction for substantially different crimes. That risks disproportionate sentence outcomes and it’s a dubious way of indirectly creating a new class of offence and a new class of offender.

    It might be discrimination, it might be a species of double-jeopardy, it might be unjustified in a “free and democratic society’, which is the standard required for a statute to be compliant with the Bill of Rights Act.

    In any case, it ignores that previous convictions are already an aggravating factor in sentencing, and that realistically people with track records of violent offending aren’t going to get off lightly.

  37. DeeDub 37

    Mike:

    “In my book if you remove, or try to remove or ignore , others rights, then you loose you own claim to any ‘rights’.”

    Righto….. NACTM should go into the slammer for removing the right to appeal unfair dismissal within 90 days of employment then?

    Was that not removing others’ rights?

  38. Felix 38

    @work: Seconded.

  39. Ianmac 39

    Mike: The way that a society treats its criminals (or its kids, or elderly) reflects its health. If the majority have a punitive approach, “Stone her! Stone her!” “Hang him! Hang him!” then that society is sick. I don’t want to be part of that. The majority of inmates are sad people who have made dumb mistakes and there but for the grace of god will go you.

  40. Pixie. Yeah, I was thinking about the double jeopardy angle. You are effectively being jailed again for a crime you have already been punished for. That said, as you mention, previous offending is already a factor in sentencing and we don’t see that as a (serious) breach of double jeopardy. There must be a line there and I think 3 strikes goes past it.

  41. Ari 41

    While I’m all for more effective sentences, is nobody interested in the fact that re-offending chance actually goes up the longer we jail people? That would seem to me to be the very opposite of an effective sentence, and would effectively make this bill responsible for increased violent crime twenty years or so in the future. Nice present for your kids and grandkids.

    Unless we’re just going to send everyone who commits a violent crime to jail for life, (and as much as some of you would like that, it’s fundamentally inconsistent with the often accompanying desires of wanting tax cuts and a smaller government, not to mention the principle of proportionality which underlies our justice system) we’re going to need to do something about the fact that our prisons are encouraging people to re-offend.

  42. Rex Widerstrom 42

    SBlount:

    I don’t think sentencing should be based on what is appropriate for an innocent person. A sentence is given to someone who has committed the offence. If innocent people have been convicted then the trial process needs to be improved.

    Good grief. If sentences were “based on what is appropriate for an innocent person” then there would be no sentences.

    I said when I hear the word prison I think of those wrongfully convicted, implying that the harsher the environment within the prison, the greater the injustice experienced by those people, and those on remand who are later found to be innocent.

    To get from that that I believe everyone should be sentenced as though they were innocent?! I really need to revise the way I’m expressing things here. Or something.

  43. The bill will not violate human rights. I think appropriate force for punishment is being confused with defensive force. Given this there is no conflict with the bill and the doctrine of proportionality.
    Three Strikes: Proportion and Protection

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    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    4 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    5 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
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