Was a crime committed when Slater accessed Labour’s computer system?

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, August 17th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: greens, labour, law, national, police - Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from Occasionally erudite

Following on from my earlier post regarding Nicky Hager’s new book, Dirty Politics, there’s the issue of Cameron Slater and Jason Ede accessing the Labour Party computer system. The Greens have filed a police complaint, but was a crime committed?

In the NZ Herald, John Armstrong states that:

The allegation that one of John Key’s minions hacked into the Labour Party’s database is – to put it bluntly – the modern-day equivalent of the 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party’s national committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington.

Well, it’s not really hacking. I remember Cameron Slater blogging about what he’d done, back in 2011. No security was bypassed. No hacking required. Essentially, Labour left their system open to the world.

Over at The Standard, Rocky (in her blog post entitled “But the door was open…“) seems convinced that Slater and Ede would fall foul of s 249 of the Crimes Act – accessing a computer system for dishonest purpose – which reads:

(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system and thereby, dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right,—

(a) obtains any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration; or

(b) causes loss to any other person.

(2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years who, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer system with intent, dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right,—

(a) to obtain any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration; or

(b) to cause loss to any other person.

I’m unconvinced. There’s no “loss” to Labour, and I just don’t see that a court would find that snooping through Labour’s databases can be seen to fall under the ambit of obtaining or having the intent to obtain “any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration”. The language is that of obtaining financial advantage, which just doesn’t appear to apply in this situation.

Unfortunately, there’s almost no case law in this area, so it’s difficult to say just what a court’s interpretation might be in this sort of scenario. Could Slater be said to have obtained a “benefit” through accessing the Labour website? It’s conceivable. Labour’s embarrassment and the flow on increase in hits to the Whaleoil website might be considered a “benefit”. However, I don’t believe it’s as open and shut as Rocky posits.

There’s a better argument in favour of a prosecution under s 252 of the Crimes Act – accessing a computer system without authorisation – which reads:

(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.

(2) To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply if a person who is authorised to access a computer system accesses that computer system for a purpose other than the one for which that person was given access.

On the face of it, you’d have to assume that Slater and, allegedly, Ede would be toast – they’ve intentionally accessed membership and donations databases without authorisation, knowing they’re not authorised. However, lawyer Graeme Edgeler comments on Dr Nicole Moreham’s blog post atPublic Address, providing an interesting counter-argument:

The question then is: does Cameron Slater have authority to access the server that hosts the Labour Party website? Well, it’s a publicly available website, that they put up there so that people can go to their website and download stuff from that server into their cache to read on their browsers. If Cameron doesn’t have authority (because, for example, it’s not express authority), I don’t see how any of us can lawfully look at it.

If Cameron, and you and I have authorisation to access the server that hosts labour.org.nz for the purpose of viewing the Labour Party’s website, then is there any basis on which section 252(2) doesn’t come into play if once we access the server, we do things that it was not intended we should do?

Obviously, if once there, those unauthorised things we are doing on that computer system (which we are authorised to access for other purposes), we do things for other reasons, eg to cause damage to the site, or to do something dishonest etc. other computer crimes may arise (such as section 249, or section 250). These offences can be committed on computer systems you have been authorised to access, because they don’t include something equivalent to section 252(2), but there has been no suggestion to date that Cameron Slater or Jason Ede (or anyone else) accessed the Labour server in a way which might give rise to an offence under s 249 or s 250.

There may still be privacy issues, but I’m tending to the view that what has been alleged is not a breach of section 252, because of subsection 2. I think we all have authorisation to access the computer system which operates as the server hosting the Labour Party website.

Nonetheless, regardless of whether we’ve all got authorisation to access the Labour Party website, Slater’s posts of the time, and Ede’s Facebook/email correspondence with Slater, make it plain that they knew they were accessing something that the Labour Party did not want accessed by the general public.

To me, that clearly brings s 252(2) into play – you’ve got authorisation to surf the Labour Party website, but when you stumble on (or are tipped off about) a publicly accessible backdoor route into membership and donation databases, it should be obvious that you’ve gone beyond the purpose of access, thus negating the right of access you previously had.

Frankly, I don’t think Graeme Edgeler’s proposed defence would fly.

Which means we now await the outcome of the Police complaint, and see who they agree with…


 

Also see:

45 comments on “Was a crime committed when Slater accessed Labour’s computer system?”

  1. nadis 1

    Wasn’t a police complaint made back at the time?

    • lprent 1.1

      No.

      The problem as I understand it was that the National party tech and Slater (the two who could be identified from the logs) said that they hadn’t taken or tampered with anything. They had merely “looked” at what was there.

      Since that involved copying information and would have shown up on the logs, that is probably still illegal as there is a copy taken. However that is “actus reus“, the guilty act. Often to prove criminality you have to prove criminal intent “mens rea“, the guilty mind. The latter wasn’t clear in 2011 and would have been difficult to prove. So the NZLP dropped it as being potentially too embarrassing in an election year.

      However the conversations revealed in “Dirty Tricks” clearly show that there was a guilty mind. Slater, Bhatanger, and Ede were clearly intent on being malicious – in particular in stating that they would hold and use the files that they obtained to attack the Labour party and its contributors.

      That the evidence that proved this was also obtained illegally is unlikely to have any particular bearing on the use to lay criminal charges or to convict.

      As someone who in his youth used to do some of these kinds of break ins in the days when it was actually encouraged as a way to test security, I have a particular interest in this.

  2. tricledrown 2

    Graham McCready will most likely follow through with a private prosecution now their is more evidence of govt interfering in govt processes!
    If the police don’t prosecute or investigate.

  3. tricledrown 3

    Hager is on National Radio now

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Pretty pointless interview, he didn’t really say anything new than what has already been covered.

      At this point, we’re really just waiting for the MSM to investigate each individual story in the book, put it to National/Key and see their response.

  4. locus 4

    i hope nz law and lawyers have the capability to bring slater and his paymasters to their knees. But i fear the reality is that the key fan club cant see the damage that these corrosive people and practises are doing to nz.

    The socially divisive lies propoganda and manipulation have done their damage. Aotearoa is not the country of quiet thoughtful egalitarianism that it once believed itself to be.

    • tricledrown 4.1

      Locus even if Key wins the election he will be in permanent damage control as the privacy commission Ombudsman Electoral Commission Police McCready will all be looking into Keys corrupt govt.
      Then Winston Labour and the greens will be at his heals nonstop .
      Colin Craig is the only Right Winger with a clean “Slate,r? in this debacle and could pick up a lot of votes especially if he promises to have a full investigation to clean up this underhanded corruption of power!

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        especially if he promises to have a full investigation to clean up this underhanded corruption of power!

        And he can’t do that because the only people the CCCP can go into government with are National who will ensure that the inquiry has no teeth and can’t do anything.

  5. weka 5

    As an aside to that, part of Slater’s argument regarding Ede’s involvement is that there is only an email from a gmail account (I think the one where Ede says he is relieved he got into the website and got the data without being caught). Slater’s implication was that that gmail could have come from anyone or been fabricated by Hager. Technically, if one had access to the original received email, is there metadata that shows more detail eg an IP address?

    • locus 5.1

      “fabricated by Hagar” or ‘im lying to cover my arse’ by slater…. Hmmm let me think.

    • lprent 5.2

      Technically, if one had access to the original received email, is there metadata that shows more detail eg an IP address?

      Yes. Of course it is possible to fabricate that as well if you know what you are doing. It is just text. The same problem applies to almost all evidence that goes before courts. There are very few things that can’t be faked.

      That is why courts don’t just look at single items. They look at the patterns of behaviour.

      However it is unlikely in this case. The volume of emails and material carries its own signature. In this case the reek of sociopathic arseholes reeks out of the conversations of Ede, Collins, Slater and others. This is a stench that bloggers and others have become used to whiffing from many of the right wing blogs.

      • weka 5.2.1

        Ok, just wanted to check that Slater’s argument was part of his general bluster and didn’t have any meaningful validity.

    • Cameron Slater is in a position to confirm whether or not the email was received by him, whether or not he thought it was from Jason Ede and whether or not he was working with Ede at the time to access the Labour server.

      The interview that I presume you are relying on in making this point was by Lisa Owen (link here – thought you might want it provided 🙂 ).

      The critical questioning from Owen begins at about 2:00 minutes. Slater claims he can’t answer on behalf of Ede but, oddly, seems to believe that that includes not answering for his own understanding – e.g., whether or not he was working with Ede, whether or not he believed the gmail email was (a) valid and, if so, (b) it was from Ede.

      Slater in that clip uses an illogical defence for his reluctance to comment. It makes no sense. A reasonable conclusion, certainly in my opinion, is that he simply did not wish to confirm the inference and any reply ‘on the record’ would probably have had to make just such a confirmation.

      • weka 5.3.1

        I agree, Slater ran an evade and equivocate defense. My question about the gmail was more whether his implication had any meaning that people might believe.

        Lolz at the link, thanks! 🙂

  6. weka 6

    I’m still not clear on this bit about the website they accessed being ‘public’. Does this mean that Labour techs had put the data on the main website and failed to password protect it? Or was it in another part of the website and that was accesible from the main one. Or is that all irrelevent. Are these legal definitions we are talking about, or tech ones?

    If the idea is that the data was on a public website simply because it was accessible, does that mean that the data that Keith Ng accessed on the MSD network was also ‘public’ and it was ok for anyone to read it simply because they had access?

    I’d also like some clarity on this idea that anyone could access the data. Whether that literally means anyone eg there was a clickable link, or whether you needed a certain degree of technical expertise to know what to do.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      My recollection is that it had crashed because the index file had corrupted. Going to website looked a bit like browsing your hard drive. There were folders and files visible but clearly there was something wrong.

    • lprent 6.2

      It is a particular ‘feature’ of the apache webserver. The default display when there is no DocumentRoot file (usually index.html or index.php) on a virtual website (which most are) is that it displays a index list of the files.

      I think everyone who has ever used apache has had the particular problem happen to them.

  7. I’m unconvinced that my argument flies as well. I was thinking out loud. The arguments against it (for example, the one from lawyer Felix Geiringer in response to my comment) have quite a bit going for them. I don’t think it is clear cut.

  8. Kevin Welsh 8

    I would have thought that the words “…and without claim of right” from s49 (1) would be rather important here.

    • UglyTruth 8.1

      In the context of advising Labour that a major vulernability existed, claim for right would fly. In the context of Slater’s intent to “devastate the c**nts”, not so much.

  9. TheContrarian 9

    How is the case with the Labour website differ from Keith Ng and the WINZ computers?

    Genuine question

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Keith Ng reported it to the authorities and didn’t deliberately read the information beyond the purpose of establishing what it was, or take a copy the information to use for any purpose beyond providing proof to the authorities.

      It really comes down to motive, as Lynn says at 1.1: Keith Ng and Slater/Ede clearly committed what is a criminal act, but Keith didn’t do it with criminal intent, and there wasn’t any proof that Slater/Ede were doing it with criminal intent until now.

      • TheContrarian 9.1.1

        Ah, right.

        Still seems a bit grey to me but my legal nous is zero.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          In the US and UK, people who have done similar things to Keith Ng have had the book thrown at them (most notoriously, Aaron Swartz). To my knowledge it hasn’t happened in NZ.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Now Slater is claiming Labour caucus members are feeding him information whatever!
    This is pure BS!
    But Slater has slipped up major league claiming Key texts him everyday which makes Key a liar saying more recently. He only has contact with Slater 4 times a year!

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      If Slater gets so much information from the Labour caucus, he should release the emails to prove it.

      I’m pretty sure that if Hager had gotten emails in his trove that came from Labour party members talking to Slater, he would have published them too, because 1. That would be the right thing to do, and 2. it would defend against accusations of him just being left-wing.

      • lprent 10.1.1

        I would have expected that if there were instances of Labour MPs leaking then he would have done so.

        I’m also sure that if there were emails from Labour MPs saying something like “that post is wrong because…” then he would have not.

        My guess is that Slater is crotch clutching as he tries to bluster on the line. Other children have dummies. It is just his way of coping…. 😈

      • tricledrown 10.1.2

        If Slater had that info it would be all over his site and he would be crowing from his dung heap!
        Keys efforts to distance himself from Slater to make out he has no credibility!
        Slater slipping up on his oil saying he is regularly exchanging texts !
        Slaters own words from Te Aviv!

      • Puddleglum 10.1.3

        In one interview of Hager with Sean Plunket (link here) that I’ve listened to he says that there were about 2 or 3 or 4 contacts between left-wing bloggers and WhaleOil in the material he received – and there were absolutely no contacts with Labour people or any other parties.

        The relevant bit starts at about 7minutes 40secs in the link.

        • lprent 10.1.3.1

          Yeah. I have had a few severely polite emails to and from him.

          Usually about comments that he considered to defamatory. Usually he was right and I cleaned them up. I do those for anyone when we miss comments during moderation. I did one for Ian Wishart the other day. The offender got a 6 week ban for wasting my time by being stupid.

          Not sure if I did it with WO, but I also have offered tech advice to a number of bloggers over the years.

    • joe90 10.2

      Damn song sheets….

      Key revealed today that he speaks regularly with Slater.

      […]

      He confirmed he and Slater spoke regularly, including this week when they discussed Dotcom, but Key hedged when asked if Slater was his source.

      […]

      Key said he regularly called Slater, who broke the story of the Len Brown affair, “to see what he’s got on his site and mind”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9723130/Looks-like-Slater-is-Keys-Peters-source

      • weka 10.2.1

        “He confirmed he and Slater spoke regularly,”

        What, 3 – 4 times a year like he was saying yesterday? 🙄

        It would be good to find a statement from him where he is more specific about the regular. Some of us thought it was weekly, and I suspect it will be in video somewhere rather than text.

        • Lanthanide 10.2.1.1

          Interview of John Key conducted on Wednesday morning before the book launch, (usefully) contained a surprising amount of information about Slater http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10392394/In-the-swing-of-things

          Roughan’s book says that in 1998 Key spent New Year’s at the Coromandel bach of National Party president John Slater – an early step towards his political goals. John is Cameron Slater’s father. I asked Key if the junior Slater was at Coromandel too. (At this point, neither Key’s team nor I knew Hager’s book was mainly about links to Slater.)

          “I don’t remember him being there. I don’t know Cam the way that people portray it.”

          What is the relationship then? Is Slater a friend?

          “No. He’s definitely not a friend. I’ve been at a National Party event when he’s been there. If I text him, or if he would send me a text, it might be once a month or once every two months. I read WhaleOil.”

          How does that compare to your contact with other political journalists?

          “Duncan Garner I would talk to way more often. Or someone like David Farrar, because he’s our pollster. With Cam, if I text him it would be because he had some really random blog. I might send him a text and say ‘Is that really real?’, or ‘Who’s the person who’s really behind that?’ It would be curiosity.”

          Have you given Slater story tips?

          “I don’t do stuff with him, believe it or not. I don’t leak because I don’t need to. Look, ministers might feed things, and other people might feed things, but I just don’t do that. If I want to do something I just say, ‘I’m doing it.’ “

    • Puddleglum 10.3

      Hi tricledrown,

      Where does Cameron Slater say that Key texts him everyday?

    • disturbed 10.4

      RNZ said slater said that Labour feed him files too.

      Why is RNZ peddling in junk reporting?

      Perhaps Labour has to release a legal press release to stop Slater lying?

  11. tricledrown 11

    Slater is making up more lies to cover the original lies!

  12. Rodel 12

    LP
    Love this sentence of yours.

    ‘ In this case the reek of sociopathic arseholes reeks out of the conversations of Ede, Collins, Slater and others.’

    Ever thought of writing a book? (Seriously)

    • lprent 12.1

      Nah. I’m good at writing impactful and memorable statements. However (as Lyn would point out) there are two “reek(s)” in that statement.

      It should have been “In this case the stench of sociopathic arseholes reeks out of the conversations of Ede, Collins, Slater and others.”. I’m not much into editing my comments to literary standard. They don’t provide a compiler for that.

      My partner Lyn is the writer – keep an eye out for her blog in our feed – called “something from the edge”. Much better written. Not nearly as much impact 😈

  13. What amuses me is that Key, Ede, Slater, et al, thought they could keep this hidden forever?

    If the Cunliffe leadership-trust thing has shown us anything, it is that political secrets are nigh on impossible to keep in a small country like our. Eventually it all comes out.

    The Nicky Hager book has done the Left a real favour. No ,I don’t mean crucifying Slater and Ede in public.

    The real lesson for us is to keep our own noses clean and avoid Dirty Politics, smears, lies, etc, at all costs. Because eventually, we would be found out as well.

    Ironic in a way… about a year ago I had material handed to me that could have caused some embarressment to a local political figure. I wrote up the blogpost. Then sat on it. Thought about it… finger hovered over the “publish” button…

    And then my own version of a “spidey sense” (fans of Stan Lee will get the reference) tingled and, as always, I heeded the warning. I decided not to publish it. Thankfully.

    Do I want to go down the road of being the “Whaleoil Of The Left”?! Gods, no. I may have been irresponsible and reckless in my youth – but that youth is long gone, and consigned to history. I grew up.

    Maybe, one day, Cam will as well.

  14. disturbed 14

    Pink Postman.

    “Democratic Pacific Union and not a word about Crosby -Textor.
    & The taxpayers union”

    Pink Postman, can you advise who bankrolls them as we are very worried it is either interested Corporations or our Tax base Government funding that may be funding these fronts for the far right.?

  15. DS 15

    Unfortunately, there’s almost no case law in this area, so it’s difficult to say just what a court’s >interpretation might be in this sort of scenario.

    Well, we do have case law about 240(1)(d), which is a similar branch of law (causing loss by deception), and that suggests that in order to be criminal the loss must be quantifiable, foreseeable, and a direct result of the deception. I honestly can’t see a s249 prosecution working.

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    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
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    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
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    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    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
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    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?
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    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
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    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.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    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
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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