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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    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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