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UK Intelligence

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, January 7th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: International, interview, labour, Politics, Propaganda, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , ,

For quite some time now, there has been what I’d term an enforced consensus across “the west” on foreign events and situations. That enforced consensus is bolstered by consigning anyone proposing a critical analysis; one that runs counter to officially endorsed narratives, as being somehow complicit with who-ever today’s ‘agreed’  enemy is. And that consensus gorges itself on endlessly repeated innuendo, rumour and purportedly solid conclusions based on nought but previously reported bullshit and nonsense. Anyone with the temerity to engage their brain is dismissed as a “Putinbot” or similar, and anyone of note who raises their head is either roundly ignored by “our” media, or subjected to some degree of personal ridicule or character assassination by “our” media.

It’s against that backdrop that Emily Thornberry, UK Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, has stepped up with the following in response to a thinly veiled attempt at a  “gotcha” aimed at Jeremy Corbyn. Nick Robertson was conducting the interview on BBC Radio 4:- (from 33.00 min)

Our approach now is one of extreme caution when it comes to Iran and a recognition that the society in Iran is an immensely complex one, and seemingly contradictory. For example, with these current riots, sometimes they are calling to reinstate the monarchy, sometimes they’re calling out against [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, sometimes they’re calling for Khamenei, sometimes they’re calling for the price of eggs. It’s very difficult, in those circumstances, to actually come to a conclusion as to what political forces are behind the current disputes on the streets of Iran. So we take a cautious approach to Iran and we don’t want to leap to judgment and say: “Well, we don’t like the regime in Iran, these people are against it, they must be the guys with white hats.”

Because it doesn’t work like that.

We’ve seen that in Syria, we’ve seen it in Libya, we see it time and time again, in Egypt – actually as westerners we cannot simply impose our views on people who are fighting against Mubarak, who we don’t like.

May her voice be the first of many prominent voices talking sense. It won’t be easy. The Guardian piece that provided most of the above quote, reported her words in a piece that was (yet again) simply “running the lines”, and links in the piece went to similar pieces of uncritical anti-Iranian reporting.

It’s going to be a long, hard and probably thankless row to hoe.

42 comments on “UK Intelligence”

  1. andrew murray 1

    Stand by for a ‘Psycho 90’ attack from ‘Mars’

  2. Brewer 2

    “Why there won’t be a revolution in Iran
    Regime change is unlikely but what is in play is setting the scene for a further renewal of economic sanctions ”
    http://www.atimes.com/article/wont-revolution-iran/

    • Bill 2.1

      The video link in your Asia Times piece includes an interview with Mohammad Marandi. The interview was (how to say?) “interesting”. So I had a wee search for further commentary by him.

      I found this doozy from the BBCs Hardtalk (Feb 2017). Introducing an academic as “a supporter of the Iranian government” by way of shoving him off into “that” box was kind of ludicrous (ie – would an American academic be introduced as “a supporter of the US government?)

      Anyway. He serves up the antagonistic Hardtalk interviewer rather well with hard, well sourced facts. Well worth the 20 odd minutes.

      • Brewer 2.1.1

        Marandi is, like most Iranians of my acquaintance, rational and realistic. The interviewer comes across as a schill, a proponent of Western propaganda.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.2

        With the possible exception of Bill English, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so far out of their depth.

    • SPC 2.2

      The USA would need partners, they are not in the UNSC or EU/NATO, they do not have any.

  3. francesca 3

    I think the Europeans are keen to maintain the Iran nuclear deal, avoid any more refugee crises,and maybe finally have developed the backbone to defy the US
    I think Syria has broken the mold

  4. roy cartland 4

    “May her voice be the first of many prominent voices talking sense. It won’t be easy. ”

    Too right, because ‘sense’ implies that one is sensible – i.e. is at least making an effort to understand – what is going on. Which, as well as taking longer, is never going to be easier than lazily parroting.

    Viva la thinking!

  5. adam 5

    I wonder if some on the left are getting that we have to talk about capitalism, and its role in all of these problems.

    These simple arguments of us ‘good’, the other ‘bad’ – helps no one but those in power, and those looking for profit.

    I’m sick of it, the dominant ideology is what the left traditionally was against, and for really good reasons. The problem, over and over is when it comes to international politics, so many so called leftist submit to the dominant ideology framework in a situation, faster than you can say boo.

    Good to see an MP taking a broader view, and indeed calling into question the official narrative.

    • francesca 5.1

      And courageous too.Witness the times that Corbyn has been excoriated in so called leftwing newspapers like the Guardian for taking a principled stand against imperialism and war

  6. SPC 6

    The thing about Iran is that this is about an economic problem (growing population and unemployment).

    There is the urban liberal middle class who supported the nuclear deal and who claimed it would improve their economic position (they voted in the current President), and there are those less well off who are generally more nationalist and socially conservative (the former President represented them).

    While we in the west may prefer the current President to the former one, he is of the middle class and places the economy before the needs of the poor – who are not seeing much gain from the end of sanctions, certainly not in trickle down to meet their needs. Thus protest at the lack of benefit to many of the poor (the still unemployed) promised by the current President.

    The American belief, that this is a rebellion against the theocratic regime under which the Presidency and parliament operate, is self-delusion. Those suffering economically are more often social conservatives. And despite American hopes that economic protests could undermine support for the regimes foreign policy activism, polls still show support for this foreign policy (basically Iranians are not linking their economic difficulty to the cost of their foreign activism, or if they do they do not mind).

    • Bill 6.1

      It’s not a theocratic regime. Sanctions have economic consequences. And it can be argued that Iran has stemmed the spread of ISIS and Al Qaeda (Syria and Yemen).

      I can’t see how it can be sensibly argued that “economic difficulty” is down to Iran’s “foreign activism” as though there is no sanction regime. But hey.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Yeah it is.

        1. An unelected Ayatollah in office for life with more real power than the President
        2. The vetting of candidates for elected office for compliance with the revolutions continuance
        3. The Revolutionary Guard serve the regime, not the elected President.

        Interesting that you blame NOW ENDED sanctions for their economic problems – when that is just supporting the line of the government and its middle class market economics policy.

        The issue on the ground is a challenge to Rouhani’s economic programme. His policies advantage the middle class for the good of the economy (less support to those in need after the end of sanctions than during sanctions). He campaigned for re-election on the basis that the end of sanctions would improve things, but part of the problem has been the dismantling of support to the poor since sanctions ended – classic let the market trickle down help them in the markets own good time mantra of the middle class everywhere.

        >I can’t see how it can be sensibly argued that “economic difficulty” is down to Iran’s “foreign activism”<

        Never said it was – the underlying issue is a high youth demographic and lack of jobs – a problem whether there was economic sanctions or not, or an activist and costly foreign activism or not.

        It seems your own analysis is based on support for Iran's foreign policy and opposition to America's – no more based on reality than the American's position.

        PS The Russians should have cited the Occupy Wall Street protests when the UNSC looked at the Iran issue …

        • Brewer 6.1.1.1

          “1. An unelected Ayatollah in office for life with more real power than the President”
          Simply not true.
          The Spiritual Leader is elected by and can be removed by the eighty eight member Assembly of Experts (a sort of constitutional watchdog body), elected by public vote for eight-year terms.

          If you believe that Western systems do not vet candidates there is a bridge in Tehran I can sell you.

          The Revolutionary Guard has its equivalents in Western systems – National Guard, Dept of Homeland Security, SIS etc.

          Close study of the Iranian system reveals a democratic, albeit pyramidical structure consisting of a series of competing power centres reminiscent of the British system – local Councils, the Majlis (Parliament), Guardian Council (a bit like the House of Lords), Assembly of experts (The Law Lords). In the 2016 elections more than 12,000 people ran for office. Voter turnout is around 75%.

          Most Westerners object to the Iranian system because of our dedication to separation of Church and State. This reflects a misunderstanding of the political nature of Islam – a Mosque is a community centre, not a church, an Imam is appointed by the community, not the Church. It is also worth remembering that Iran is 90 – 95% Shiite Muslim so separation of Church and State is simplly not an issue. Minority sects (Judaics, Armenians, Zoroastrians etc) have guaranteed representation in the Government (except, for some reason I have never been able to figure out, Bahai).

          • SPC 6.1.1.1.1

            So its a theist regime which has its own procedural order to imply mandate to its continuance.

            But given no living Ayatollah has ever been voted out of office … and the lack of practicality of running as a challenger … .

            The Revolutionary Guard exist to protect the theist regime.

            Those challenging the continuance of the theist regime (not the only ones) are banned from contesting elections.

            Any party can form and contest elections in a real democracy. Even to promote constitutional change.

            Jews and Christians before Islam – in their eyes final evolved stage, Zoroastrian as Iranian cultural – Bahai rejected for being post Islam – Islam rejects any conversion of Moslems to another faith.

            • Brewer 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Your reply indicates a one-dimensional view obviously gleaned from the popular press. The vast majority of Iranians are perfectly happy with their system of Government because they understand it and it delivers what most of them want. Reformists poll about 13-15%.
              No system is perfect but the Iranian seems to deliver better outcomes for voters than the U.S. for example:
              “After examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, the political scientists Martin Gilens, of Princeton, and Benjamin Page, of Northwestern, found that the preferences of rich people had a much bigger impact on subsequent policy decisions than the views of middle-income and poor Americans. Indeed, the opinions of lower-income groups, and the interest groups that represent them, appear to have little or no independent impact on policy………..In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover … even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”
              https://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/is-america-an-oligarchy
              Sixty-five percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their nation’s system of government according to Gallup’s polling.

              You can cherry pick and issue unsupported statements about Iran all you want but the massive pro-government rallies in the last few days tell a different story.

              • SPC

                And yours is derived from various “dimensions” of the “unpopular” media … whatever. The mirror image on the right says fake news a lot to dismiss unwelcome challenge.

                It’s a theist regime, and like some others called revolutionary does not allow itself to be challenged by democratic means, actively marginalises opponents and manages the media – little wonder those involved as reformists are either participants in a form of bi-partisanship, or soon taken out of the process.

                Sure it has some engagement, to the level this is allowed. Including in voting. And the countrywide majority for the regime seems genuine. It appeals to identity, religious and national, and has successfully combined the two. But for the same reason that (in some part religious) pro Zionism in the USA results in a problematic involvement in the ME peace process, this is not something that informs a constructive
                involvement in the wider region.

                Which is the real issue here. Two nations doing harm to other nations, as two powers external to the Arab people and region imposing their will.

                And sure the American oligarchy uses religion and nationalism itself, to preserve its own primacy. And has a freer media so voices about this are heard and thus the greater level of discontent.

                Iran better, America worse is not a complex or nuanced position by the way …

                • Brewer

                  For someone with a demonstrated paucity of knowledge on the subject you have altogether too much to say in my opinion.
                  Complex matters require complex explanations, too complex to undertake with someone so obviously, chauvinistically wedded to the paradigms implanted by a limited life experience and imagination.
                  Feel free to ignore my contributions to this forum. They are intended to elicit informed discussion, not bald assertions.

                  • SPC

                    Flounce off then, convinced of your superior knowledge, life experience and imagination etc.

                    You were responding to my post by the way.

                    It was my response to your own post you ignored. If you missed it, it was that neither the UN or EU/NATO will join new sanctions on Iran. It is only in play in the Americans “imagination”.

                    We can agree regime change in “Iran” is unlikely.

        • Bill 6.1.1.2

          I’ll come back to this later SPC, because there’s a lot of inaccuracy in your comment. Short on time right now.

          But just a wee question for you to ponder. Who elected the Queen of England and what was the name of the last Catholic PM of the UK?

          • SPC 6.1.1.2.1

            Comparison between an apolitical head of state without any power and the regime in Teheran …seriously …

            Tony Blair.

            You could raise the issue of the throne being reserved for those of the Church of England, as there is a state church (more a symbol of national independence than a religious divide – I wrote to Blair and questioned the continuance of it way back in 1998 before he came out). But this has no impact on political governance and I suspect many Christians of other denominations like the idea of a Christian throne and prayer in parliament continuing (especially those of the morality in law, military alliances and mammon order to economic society aspect).

            • Bill 6.1.1.2.1.1

              I’ve no idea about the relative powers of the Queen/Royal Family and the Ayatollah. But one is hereditary while the other is elected and can be recalled.

              Tony Blair was not a Catholic PM. He converted after leaving office. There has not ever been a Catholic PM of the UK.

              • Blair considered himself a Catholic while he was Prime Minister (and apparently for many years before that). He took communion occasionally and attended services regularly while in No 10. While his formal conversion to Catholicism took place a few months after he left office, he apparently received Papal blessing while still PM.

                Blair was certainly widely known as a closet Catholic while PM. However, there’s no end of pedantry in religion and I guess it depends on whether one cares about the exact rules and rituals of the Vatican or the simpler doctrines of the heart. For mine, if Blair believed he was a Catholic, he was a Catholic. His conversion merely confirmed the fact.

                Ultimately, what is more important for the purposes of political discussion is assessing what affect his Catholicism had on his dodgy decision making while PM and, happily, also raises the interesting question of where Blair thinks he’s heading in the afterlife.

    • spikeyboy 6.2

      Yes Rouhani appears to be your standard neoliberal leader engaged in austerity and slashing of social programs including raising the price of petrol by 50%. The protests that have started over there may be the beginnings of genuine class action. This is the same way that the Shah was overthrown when workers took over their workplaces.

      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/04/pers-j04.html

      • SPC 6.2.1

        Rouhani is certainly going about uniting the opposition around a Presidential candidate with a different economic policy.

  7. reason 7

    Oliver Stones latest documentary is quite informative and details a new type of warfare …. ‘the color revolution’ …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAaMRAplJks

    Called “Ukraine is burning” …. it is mainly about the Ukraine … but details the new weapons used in this new warfare …. N.G.O’s …

    It compares the remarkable similarity of ‘color protest and their techniques across Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Iran etc …. plus the similar propaganda bullshit our ‘respectable’ media reports .

    With the Ukraine we are given a bit of history about the O.U.N with their ethnic purity goals which they undertook …. often as the SS Galizien division …. murdering between 150,000- 200,000 Jews … and huge numbers of Polish and gypsy people .

    The Ukraine Nazis were protected and shielded by the u.s.a and britian after world war II …. Stone shows the direct links of their ideology and beliefs…. and how this was utilized when they partnered up with the u.s.a in the violent illegal overthrow of Ukraine s elected Govt ….

    U.s.a war promoter Victoria Nuland …..”We’ve invested over 5 Billion Dollars to assist Ukraine in these and other goals” ….

    This is the second ‘color revolution that the Ukraine has been subjected to …. The first temporarily installed Victor Yushenko whose wife was a former u.s.a state department employee and worked at the white house under president Raygun ….

    Backed by the west but Lasting only one term in power, one of his last acts was to commemorate a mass murderer …….

    Victor Yushenko ….” I signed a decree ….For an unbreakable spirit, heroism and self sacrifice in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine …. I am granting a status of a hero of Ukraine along with the Order of state …. to Stepan Bandera …. Glory to Ukraine”

    New Zealand is participating in a economic siege (sanctions) against russia because of this pro fascist anti russian shit.

    We are literally,.. thanks to National … part of the fuckwits that have helped move the nuclear clock to three minutes to midnight ….. by encouraging and joining in this madness. https://thebulletin.org/timeline

    We are participating in war acts ……Just like we are by donating $ 600,000 Nz dollars to the Isis / Al Nusra first aid team … known as the white helmets …..

    We need to stop this sneaky dishonest warmongering legacy shit that John Key signed us up too ….. Its a barbaric disgrace.

    New Zealand needs to get some guts and stop running with war criminals ….

    • SPC 7.1

      American backed Ukraine regime independent of Russia bad, Russian backed one remaining in power better for peace and security … .

      The language is a propaganda parody of the time there was a German occupied Ukraine before liberation by the Red Army.

      If condemning independence as nationalist fascism why not subordination to a more powerful neighbour as imperialist colonisation?

      • reason 7.1.1

        Simplistic white hat black hat shit SPC …. No one is calling independence fascism…… racial hygiene is though.

        And there is no denying OUN and Bandera is fascism …. the O.U.N with their ethnic purity goals which they undertook …. often as the SS Galizien division …. murdering between 150,000- 200,000 Jews … and huge numbers of Polish and gypsy people .

        The Ukraine Nazis were protected and shielded by the u.s.a and britian after world war II …. Stone shows the direct links of their ideology and beliefs…. and how this was utilized when they partnered up with the u.s.a in the violent illegal overthrow of Ukraine s elected Govt ….

    • reason 7.2

      U.s.a general Wesley Clark and what an insider told him … way back when bush was president and before the illegal invasions and mass killings in Iraq & Afghanistan & Libya etc …

      ” “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

      There s a yankee doodle bitcoin waiting for you SPC ….. 😉 🙂

      https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

      • SPC 7.2.1

        So you resort to a cartoonish association of those who disagree with you as American stooges – in that you are more alike them than different.

        The sort of person the FBI liked to place inside dissident groups … or just naturally tribal …

        FYI I was visited by the New Zealand police in 2002 because of faxes sent to the US embassy opposing their planned (by PNAC at that stage pre adoption by the White House policy) intervention in Iraq – one of many anti-American lefties investigated by them as threats to Tiger Woods (criticise American plans, get seen as anti-American, then seen as threats to the lives of Americans – sort of funny that they later had Obama who also opposed the Iraq regime change as POTUS).

        • reason 7.2.1.1

          SPC to me …. “Is a gummy bear bit-coin now in cyberspace for you to collect?”

          me to SPC …. ” There s a yankee doodle bitcoin waiting for you SPC ….. 😉 🙂”

          SPCs head then explodes in a blaze of straw ….

          Although its Good to see you support peace SPC ……….. and I do mean that.

          War is the disease of sick adults …….. which kills and maims children.

          • SPC 7.2.1.1.1

            The comment was made after you called Ad’s position on Russia, Syria (Iran) and Israel in the ME as support from him to people giving Nazi salutes in the Ukraine – this deserved the line I used in response.

            I suspect that we on the left virtue signal against each other more than we do the right.

            • reason 7.2.1.1.1.1

              If I was kind I’d call Ad an enigma ………

              On certain subjects he sings from the song sheet ………. of power.

              regarding nazis …. I was specifically referring to the Ukraine where the ‘Govt’ soldiers can be seen dancing while doing the nazi salute.

              I’m not sure how Isis dance …

              And I prefer Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther kings statements on usa foreign policy … Which fits perfectly in regards to the dirty blood thirsty usa/Nato sponsored proxy war that Isis / Al Nusra are fighting against the Syrian people.

              Arguing about posters reputations in relation to the suffering inflicted is almost obscene ………

              Ad is not for peace or truth IMO ………….. and i was not making it up about the usa backed nazi dancers in Ukraine

    • greywarshark 7.3

      While thinking about Ukraine and the changing borders and invasions in WW2 we should think of Belarus also. All round this area there was a lot of suffering from every force that went through the area.

      In 1939 Germany and USSR struck the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and divided lands between them, West Belarus and West Ukraine and Baltic States were occupied by the USSR.
      http://www.belarusguide.com/history1/WWII_partisan_resistance_in_Belarus.htm

  8. greywarshark 8

    Emily Thornberry makes an impact. Sounds cautious, not hot headed and jingoistic,
    sounds as if she and UK Labour are trying to understand the problem from the most practical perspective, not one that would have chosen to dash and bash into Iraq if they had their time again. She sounds good, she looks good, could we be seeing a future Deputy Prime Minister, with Jeremy Corbyn as PM (or indeed the other way round). And I like her name, has promises of sweet and sour being in balance.

    • SPC 8.1

      In just discussing some awareness of the protests and the complexity of the situation, she dismisses (without needing to actually say so), as quite simplistic, the characterisation that the Americans rushed to make.

  9. Ad 9

    Here’s the Foreign Policy journal’s summary of 10 big conflicts around the world for 2018, covering:

    – North Korea
    – US-Saudi Arabia – Iran
    – Myanmar-Bangladesh
    – Yemen
    – Afghanistan
    – Syria
    – Congo
    – Ukraine
    – Venezuela

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/02/10-conflicts-to-watch-in-2018/

    Plus a nice throwaway line on Israel-Palestine:
    “The Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel for purely domestic political reasons, with no conceivable foreign-policy gain and a risk of explosion, must rank as a prime example of diplomatic malparactice.”

  10. Brewer 10

    Full coverage of the U.N. Security Council Emergency on Iran Jan. 5.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Concerning foreign relations – not good and what to be concerned about, or scared about this 2016 piece on fears held in the USA of an EMP – electro magnetic pulse – bomb had, and no doubt still has people edgy there.

    …an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse which could take down the entire electrical grid on the eastern seaboard, potentially killing millions.”…

    Back at the podium, Gilmore had massed evidence from all corners of the internet for his projections of disaster, including a 2011 video report from the Christian Broadcasting Network which claimed that Iran would have the capability of a missile-launched EMP attack by 2015.

    He was not just concerned about North Korea – “Iran, Russia and China” are capable of unleashing the same weapons, especially since Obama has been treating them with kid gloves. When it happens – and for him it’s not an “if” – he predicts the grid will be down for up to 10 years.

    “Life will go back to the 1850s” unless we prepare. But how? First with faith – “above all follow God” is Gilmore’s best advice.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/10/preppers-survivalists-survivalcon-expo-nuclear-bomb-republicans-mormons

    And we are in there as an escape route…
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/02/preppers-survivalist-summit-constitution-americas-midlife-crisis

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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago