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Wayne Mapp does not deny civilian deaths in botched raid

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, March 22nd, 2017 - 84 comments
Categories: accountability, afghanistan, war - Tags: ,

Well Bill English’s attacks and evasions are in some trouble now – good work Emma Hurley at NewsHub – Wayne Mapp does not deny ‘Hit and Run’ Afghan raid claims:

Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has conceded that civilians were killed in the 2010 Afghanistan raid that is the focus of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s new book.

Dr Mapp denied civilians were killed when the raid became public in 2011, but was open about it on Wednesday.

“One of the disasters of war is these terrible things can happen,” he said.

When asked if he was remorseful, he replied: “In 2014 I was informed that, I saw it on TV in fact, that a three-year-old was killed, I’m sure everyone is remorseful about that. At the time of the attack they thought they were being attacked by insurgents.”

Dr Mapp resigned from Parliament in 2011 and until now has never spoken publicly about what happened in Afghanistan, but according to the book he confided to a friend that the Defence Force was ” doing too much I didn’t know about”.

Good on you Wayne. Hit just got real.

84 comments on “Wayne Mapp does not deny civilian deaths in botched raid ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    The Government has tried to reconcile Mapp’s denial with Coleman’s subsequent admission. Something had to give …

  2. Sacha 2

    Good on you, Wayne.

    • weka 2.1

      +1

      I haven’t followed the details but I hope Mapp isn’t thrown under a bus instead of that smarmy fuck doing a runner.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        +1

      • weka 2.1.2

        just had a quick look at the article, still a fair amount of obfuscation going on.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          At the time of the attack they thought they were being attacked by insurgents…

          This ties in with my recollection of allegations that were going around at the time – that US troops would manufacture excuses to destroy villages and family compounds.

          My general feeling is that SAS officers were somewhere between uneasy and appalled – which I suppose is why they approached Hager.

          • Sacha 2.1.2.1.1

            “My general feeling is that SAS officers were somewhere between uneasy and appalled – which I suppose is why they approached Hager.”

            Properly trained soldiers retain a strong moral sense of when killing is wrong. I imagine it gnawing away at them since. A proper inquiry might lift a huge weight from them. None of us have the right to expect any public servants to carry that load on our behalf.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The most highly trained soldier is still subject to the fog of war: perhaps it’s just SNAFU.

              There are still hard questions to be asked about the whole fiasco, like, for example: what led to the decision to trust a money trader with the go codes?

              • Perhaps, doesn’t explain the allegation that there was intel at the time that the real targets weren’t in the place where the soldiers were sent, though. It’s possible, of course, that that allegation is real but that the intel was judged to be bad for some reason, and thus the whole tragic thing was just a stupid accident- in which case, even more reason not to be fighting other people’s wars.

          • weka 2.1.2.1.2

            I was thinking more about the political obfuscation.

      • greg 2.1.3

        +1

      • Dale 2.1.4

        [deleted]

      • Dale 2.1.5

        [deleted]

        [getting yourself a permanent ban presumably feels just as satisfying – Moderation]

      • North 2.1.6

        “that smarmy fuck……..” Bloody brilliant !

  3. Dv 3

    Well done Wayne.
    Thank you for your integrity

    • Cinny 3.1

      At least he came clean, he didn’t have to, but he did. Good on him.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        “Dr Mapp denied civilians were killed when the raid became public in 2011″

        and Dr Mapp says
        “In 2014 I was informed that, I saw it on TV in fact, that a three-year-old was killed…”

        and in 2017

        “Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has conceded that civilians were killed in the 2010 Afghanistan raid”

        Came clean? yeah, nah…

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, there’s something not quite right still about the story he is telling.

          Cinny, I think it’s more a case of having consulted a lawyer he realised he probably did have to come cleanish.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            No, he could have just claimed official secrets/military issues/ information at the time/pm made the call.

            And he’s validated at least some of the circumstances (3 year old dead, civilian deaths) described in Hager/Stephenson’s book.

  4. mary_a 4

    Well done Dr Wayne Mapp for coming out and stating there were civilian casualties during the raids.

    However, he does go on to almost protect John Key and Jerry Mataparae in his statement …

    “He (Key) , like myself, like Jerry Mateparae, act on the advice that we get. The soldiers involved act in accordance with the threat they are dealing with.”

    So who will carry the can here? Some accountability will be required.

    • Cinny 4.1

      ‘acting on advice’ whose advice i wonder?

      • Sacha 4.1.1

        Code for ‘the military establishment kept me in the dark’.

      • SpaceMonkey 4.1.2

        There is this arbitrary line always drawn between the exective and operational matters. Acting on advice… this will come down to an accountability and chain of command issue. It was a fucked up operation that fucked up. The consequences were tragic and criminal. The Nats want to run this country like a corporation then the executive cannot be separated from operational matters, especially where it is a public institution concerned that HAS to hold itself to the highest standards simply because of who they are… and it was the executive that gave a green light to… oh hang on! …an OPERATIONAL MATTER!

        • dukeofurl 4.1.2.1

          The whole reason for having civilians in control is to say ‘ thanks for your advice, but Im going to say no on this one, or even ‘ wait for some primary evidence and then get back to me’
          These villages are in the middle of nowhere once they have skilled military observers having a look themselves they can see if its real .

          • SpaceMonkey 4.1.2.1.1

            Exactly… which is why the buck has to stop somewhere in either NZDF or the Goverment, and more specifically the PM.

            Who’s going to fold first in that fight? John Key’s done a runner so we know he hasn’t got any guts to stand up and be accountable, but then the very act of him scampering away to hide suggests he knows how serious this is and the potential shit he is in.

            And I’m sure the reason why it was escalated to John Key to sign off on was the military knew how bad this could be and were covering their backsides accordingly.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    One of the disasters of war is these terrible things can happen…

    Also, one of the disasters of peace is that terrible things can happen. Sometimes we call them “accidents”. Sometimes we call them “crimes”.

    The security and well-being of our soldiers, and any civilians they encounter on our behalf, is worth far more than John Phillip Key’s legacy.

  6. Ad 6

    This story is looking increasingly like the PMs office and NZDF are in successful defence mode.

    • weka 6.1

      successful in what sense?

      • SpaceMonkey 6.1.1

        That they are blustering their way through… so far so good… for them. Bill English in the House today along the lines of: there’s not enough evidence to start an inquiry based on the allegations of a book. It’s the same old same old… if you don’t look you won’t find anything… ignorance is bliss.

        I hope the ICC pick this one up because the Nats are sure looking like they’re not going to.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          Looks to me like some fairly standard NACT lies and spin. Successful isn’t the adjective I’d use.

          Edit,


          Duncan Garner‏Verified account @DuncanGarnerNZ 46m46 minutes ago

          Think I just saw Wayne Mapp throw the Government and the Defence Force under the bus – it then reversed back over them. Remarkable.

      • SpaceMonkey 6.1.2

        And turning into a political issue when it’s not.

  7. outofbed 7

    all for a trade deal with the US which ain’t going to happen.. bastards

  8. Ross 8

    But the deaths will simply be blamed on the US or another country. Unless there’s an inquiry or someone with additional information comes forward, the allegations will likely go nowhere with this government.

    “The New Zealand Defence Force stands by the statement it made dated 20 April 2011. 

    “As the 2011 statement says, following the operation, allegations of civilian casualties were made. These were investigated by a joint Afghan Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) assessment team, in accordance with ISAF procedures. 

    “The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded. 

    “The NZDF does not undertake investigations or inquiries into the actions of forces from other nations.  That was the role of the joint Afghan-ISAF investigation.

    “The NZDF is confident that New Zealand personnel conducted themselves in accordance with the applicable rules of engagement.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/90690165/new-book-claims-john-key-gave-green-light-to-deadly-sas-raid-in-afghanistan

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Some of the people with the information have already come forward. Reading the limited information available, it looks like there is a group within the NZDF who value integrity and the law, and that they have struggled to make their voices heard.

      It’s vital that whistleblowers be valued and protected.

      And promoted, no matter how many reputations that might sully.

  9. Once was Tim now no longer 9

    Earth to Wayne ….. are you reading ….over???

    Time (well past time) to put the shit where the shovel is.
    You’ve proven yourself to be more principled than your peers, now cometh the hour

    Are you reading … over????
    ICJ
    …..
    Shit hits fan
    ….

    Wayne, Wayne, are you reading?
    Over

    • r0b 9.1

      I suspect that Wayne will have other demands on his time than reading this blog right now!

      I seldom agree with anything that he says here, but I do admire him for participating.

      • Once was Tim now no longer 9.1.1

        22 March 2017 at 6:15 pm
        “I suspect that Wayne will have other demands on his time than reading this blog right now!”
        I bet he does including the demands of our current Proim Munster and Guv Genral.
        (going forward)
        It’s a shame none of them have worked out that the best policy is that of truth, as opposed to CT spin.
        When shit comes to shove, it ain’t going to help, and as wonderboy John will discover, he can’t take it with him, and the offspring will eventually discover just what a cunt he is/was.
        CHRIST! Please!!!! don’t tell me a msm media-assisted Tex Pay-ya spin is not going to have to go into deep and meaningful counselling for dear Mex and Sis when the World’s bestest can’t see their nechrul tellent.

        (I’m already grieving)
        GAWD IT’S PAINFUL…. I can’t cope!!!!

        • Once was Tim now no longer 9.1.1.1

          I’ve subsequently heard Mapp on radio and elsewhere.
          Good on him for finally coming forward – at least it shows he wasn’t going to be thrown under the bus, but as Weka says – there’s still a bit of obfuscation going on, and setting up various ‘lines of defense’ narratives (like: ‘they can be farmers by day and insurgents by night’ – to paraphrase).

    • Chris 9.2

      Wayne ain’t sprayin’.

  10. the pigman 10

    Wayne lies about it 2011.
    Lies about it continuously, again in 2014.
    Back against the wall, claims it’s been established since 2014 that a 3 year old girl was killed. Cries some crocodile tears.

    *rousing applause from The Standard commentariat*

    • Anne 10.1

      Yes, there’s a hint of that pigman. Wayne was – and clearly still is – a very astute politician. He prevaricated a lot in that interview, but at least he’s starting to concede the truth which is more than the rest of them including that stupid Paula Bennett.

    • weka 10.2

      The first 3 sentences are probably true, but I suspect the 4th one isn’t. That would be FJK. That’s why Mapp gets some respect, because despite having some fairly abhorrent politics, he still comes across as a human. I’ll take old school conservatives over the smarmy fuck neoliberals thanks.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3

      Essentially you’re saying his public statements conflict with his private statements as reported by Stevenson & Hager.

      I see him in a cleft stick. I suspect his job description meant being bound by security clearances and the Cabinet Manual.

      Dishonest, or just compromised and subject to the rules? Or whatever else the National Party uses as pressure.

      We need to get to the bottom of this: vilifying witnesses is a mistake.

      • the pigman 10.3.1

        Hey OAB, are you suggesting that Wayne is a witness and that I’m vilifying him? Because that would be an odd charge given the usual standard of your interactions with him…

        I’m suggesting he’s been lying all along, there’s no mea culpa, he’s just a really bad liar, so when he does it, he fucks up and gets caught out.

        See his interview with Guyon Espiner in 2011 where he was really bad at lying and inadvertently let some cats struggle out of the bag: http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-odonnell-raid-in-afghanistan-the-seeds-of-the-new-hager-book

        Then listen to his Newshub interview today where, again only because he is really, really crap at lying, he accidentally confirms 3 year old Fatima was a casualty (but claims he learnt this through TV in 2014)…

        ….
        ….

        And… and… he is still being LAUDED here. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

        Disclosure: The greatest source of my dislike for the guy is the pomposity he expresses in his posts here given that he is terrible at spelling. If you’re going to be terrible at spelling, don’t try that pompous shit.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.1.1

          If there’s going to be an inquiry he will certainly be called as a witness.

          • s y d 10.3.1.1.1

            and, perhaps later he may be called as a defendant?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.1.1.1.1

              That’s entirely possible. Perhaps he will offer to give evidence against John Phillip Key in exchange for immunity 😈

        • Wensleydale 10.3.1.2

          That disclosure made me LOL. I know there are weighty issues being discussed here, but pompous people who can’t spell are still hilarious.

  11. Augustus 11

    Dann on One News mentions that Wayne learned about the dead girl on Maori TV. I think he refers to this

    Maybe those who have become sources for Hit and Run are the same who raised the allegations referred to in the article. It states as fact that
    “During the attacks a three-year-old Afghanistan girl died after a piece of the exploding rocket hit her in the head.”
    Key’s line could be read as that New Zealanders didn’t directly kill civilians, not that none were killed. Blame the Yanks.

    [link fixed – weka]

    • Chris 11.1

      That link’s dead.

    • s y d 11.2

      Yes Augustus, Mr Key is I think maintaining that either, both or some of each of the following apply:
      1. people don’t kill people, it’s the bullets and rockets that kill people.
      2. it was a US helicopter pilot that fired the rockets
      3. nz’ers only ordered the attack but other people did it, or the bullets did it or somesuch

  12. weka 12

    Anyone know why Mapp left parliament?

    • Tricldrown 12.1

      Michelle Boag.
      The boag constrictor.
      Tobacco lobbyist’s and T party types took over the National Party.
      Todd Barcley types.

    • exkiwiforces 12.2

      Weka,

      From what I’ve been told he and the deputy minister (The lady from ACT) refuse to cut NZDF budget as Treasury instructed. So he was push out so the cuts could go ahead and the end result was the cuts to the NZDF turned to shit. He was the only Defence minister for a long time to stand up to Treasury and Cabinet.

      • Anne 12.3.1

        The SAS raid in question took place on the 22 Aug. 2010
        Mapp announced he would be retiring at the 2011 election on 15 Dec. 2010.

        I imagine the aftermath of the raid might have had a bearing on his decision to retire especially if he was starting to have grave doubts about the accuracy of what he and his colleagues were told.

  13. weltall89 13

    Don’t have anything of value to add, and I am a long-time reader and first time poster here. It’s truly disturbing just how grave this situation is, and my fears are that NZ (and suitable international organisations) will hardly pay it it’s deserved attention, and this will all be fobbed off and swept undee the rug, apart from a small number of aware folk who do their best.

    • Thinkerr 13.1

      I dont post a lot, either,weltall89, but dont say you dont have anything of value to add.

      IMHO, every post to this site is valuable, because it allows the powerbrokers of the left to get a picture of how its support base is thinking and which issues are important. I think I’ve even seen some ideas expressed here used as the basis for media articles, although that might be coincidence.

      Keep posting, and try not to let the occasional below-the-belt responses get you down. That’s probably when you said something that got them worried.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        Yep Matthew Hooton thinks this site is an important window to left thinking. So comment away. The left has never been shy about debating issues.

    • mickysavage 13.2

      I appreciate the readers and the thinkers. For every commentator we have there are 60 readers with valid contributions. Don’t be shy!

      • Drowsy M. Kram 13.2.1

        Apologies, I have only invective to contribute, by way of self-protection (safety valve).

        Our Government’s embarrassing response to the ‘Hit and Run’ revelations shows yet again that it is rotten to the core. National’s ‘in-your-face’ corruption/contempt makes a mockery of NZ values, and even as the outer shell of deceit collapses English and co. seek to do more harm.

        PLEASE, National, JUST STOP LYING. Really hoped that the Lord of Lies buggering off would help, but it hasn’t.

    • weka 13.3

      Like others I find your comment valuable (when I write I think about the non-commenting readers). I’m finding the revelations this week pretty disturbing too, haven’t sifted through that yet to a place where I can express it well.

      • exkiwiforces 13.3.1

        I’m no fan of Mr Hager and I’m trying to reframe from making any comments as its a little to close to home for me. But something stinks too high heaven and if Nicky and Co are saying SAS operators from Group have spoken to them about this operation then something wasn’t right from the start to the end of this operation.

        • Anne 13.3.1.1

          I’m no fan of Mr Hager…

          Are you letting emotion get in the way exkiwiforces? Not trying to be smart or demeaning btw. Nicky Hager has done some brilliant work. His most acclaimed book to date would have to be Secret Power.

          You clearly have never had the privilege of hearing him speak and meeting him. He’s an engaging speaker and a pleasant and likeable person to talk to. I know he’s touted as being a far-left winger but by my observation, he is neither right nor left.

          • exkiwiforces 13.3.1.1.1

            There is no emotion, I’m just not a fan of Mr Hager that’s all.
            As I said something stinks about this operation and for SAS operators from Group to talk to Nicky and Co then something wasn’t right from the start to the end of this operation.

            • In Vino 13.3.1.1.1.1

              If something wasn’t right, I for one suspect it goes further than just this operation.. I am old, have studied and read history. This strikes me as similar to the cock-ups in World Wars 1 and 2, the My Lai in Vietnam, the crap that went on in Iraq.
              What is wrong with our revered Military?? All that posing at Anzac which our people love, but underneath there is a stench of corruption and hypocrisy, because we support an ally with corrupt policies. USA has made one hell of a botch of the whole Middle East area, and we are in that botch boots and all. And our soldiers are only human.

  14. exkiwiforces 14

    If Nicky and Co have said that SAS operators from Group have spoken to them about this operation this is news in it’s self it doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does you know something is not right. The SAS operators and others within NZDF must have concerns at the time and still have on this operation from start to finish and I’ve said the whole thing stinks.

    If Nicky and Co are right on what’s happen then a Victory for all of us, if they are wrong we are going to be poorer for it. The Buck must stop somewhere in this whole sorry saga and somebody/ persons need to be held accountable for it. And I’ll keep on saying this the whole thing stinks.

    • greg 14.1

      buck stops with the wanker thats just bolted, i really hope the ICC takes an interest like pike river,dirty politics there will be no justice from this lot .

    • Tricldrown 14.2

      Thanks to our brave SAS soldiers for speaking out.
      Key has slinked off to Hawaii.
      Playing golf .
      Leaving National party spin doctors to clean up his mess and bestow him with a knighthood.

  15. simbit 15

    A friend of mine was in a platoon in Iraq 1 that shot up a village. The personal repercussions are enormous and, ‘cos bean counters decide, very expensive all round. This is a very typical NZ scandal, denial/relative morality/shrug…

  16. silvertuatara 16

    I am just waiting for the NZDF to defame either Jon and or Nicky….we know how that last worked out for the NZDF when defaming Jon Stephenson http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11522106

  17. Skeptic 17

    While I haven’t read the book yet, there has been some interesting news come out about this particular raid. It was conducted at night on information received. It was conducted with the assistance of US helicopter gunships and Afghan soldiers. The village in question had only one person who was related to a known Taliban fighter. It seems that the majority of casualties were victims of strafing attacks by the gunship(s) but a few were deliberately shot by sniper fire. If these facts are wrong, then my supposition also is.
    The questions I ask are
    (a) who provided the intel – how reliable was it assessed as and by whom?
    (b) what were the rules of engagement and were they adhered to?
    (c) were the after action reports different to what has now been disclosed?
    (d) were the same reports provided to the politicians?
    (e) why were different versions made public at the time and by whom?

    I also deduce from what has been a nasty trend in Afghanistan – that vendettas have been conducted by people against others by means of deliberate false information being fed to Allied intelligence agencies – by debtors, by grudge holders, by feuding families etc.

    Even if such intel had been received, surely our own rules of engagement require positive identification of targets before action, especially before individual rifle fire is taken. This raid was conducted – if the book is right – on a sleeping village by surprise where no counter-fire was received or preceded our attack. Something is not at all right with both the reports and the public reporting at the time – it doesn’t stack up.

    Our own military law, and the ICC law has clear and unambiguous procedures and protocols for troops engaging in warfare in an insurgency situation to follow. Breaking these endangers each individual soldier liable for prosecution under Military Law, ordinary Statutory Law and International Law – a triple liability.

    The cover-up is entirely a different kettle of fish – that is why the call for a Commission of Inquiry is absolutely essential.

    • Anne 17.1

      I also deduce from what has been a nasty trend in Afghanistan – that vendettas have been conducted by people against others by means of deliberate false information being fed to Allied intelligence agencies – by debtors, by grudge holders, by feuding families etc.

      I read somewhere yesterday, a story suggesting that is what happened in this case. A villager made up a story about insurgent/insurgents in a particular house. It was motivated by revenge.

      • Skeptic 17.1.1

        Wouldn’t surprise me – that’s how all but 12 of the thousands incarcerated in Guantanamo Prison got there. Most of them were there from either family feud – the victim’s great grand father did something to the informant’s great grand niece, or debt avoidance – the informant owed the victim a great deal of money, or petty grievance – the victim got the better of the informant over a trade for a goat or sheep.
        A lot of people who were “rendered” got on the CIA/DIA?Conops lists because of the same thing – there’s a documented case of a whole soccer team bar one or two being detained on the information of a rival team coach. I fault the Intelligence Analyst people for not doing their work properly – they were captured by “Group Think” and “Mind Guards” – a mentality and world view that is somewhat removed from reality. I suspect something of this nature features within our SAS trainers – or did at the time of the incident in question. There was a similar “group think” mentality within the Police SIO who provided the information on the Urewera Raids here in NZ.
        The problem with “group think” is that disaster usually – nearly always – follows. Hitler surrounded himself with yes-men, so did General Galtieri, Stalin, Mao and so does Trump – all these people have a “peculiar world view” and have mind guards to stop others in the group from disagreeing with the “strong mind” of the group.
        Who was the “strong mind” in this disaster?

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          I has a similar experience in NZ about 25 years ago and it involved an arm of the NZ Defence Force. An insanely jealous person reported a telephone conversation to the effect… I was looking for a contract killer with a view to having another person “bumped off”. It occurred around the start of the first Iraq War in January 1991, which gives a wee hint as to the nationality of the supposed victim. What followed was like something out of a fantasy fiction. After a few weeks, it dawned on the idiots in high places (who fell for the story) that they had been had… because suddenly the crap stopped. In the ensuing year or two, I tried to find out who they were and what exactly they had been told, but each time I came up against a brick wall. It was cover-up time. Never mind my honesty and integrity had been destroyed. Too bad… collateral damage that apparently didn’t count.

      • exkiwiforces 17.1.2

        Yes it happens on regular a occurrence on just about all of the deployments I’ve been on weather its in the Gan or Peacekeeping and its a real pain in ass for us. So any deliberate operation had to well planned and all intel had to be crossed checked.

        The only time we got it wrong was a non kinetic (without the shooting bit) snatch and grab in Timor 99 where we had breakup blackmarket operation selling UN Food Aid and it was based on false intel. We knew we had the wrong guy from the start, but moral of story we caught the real asshole a few weeks later red handed along with 2 UN official’s as well and as turned out the TNI had their dirty hands all over it as all 3 were from the TNI secret service or whatever it was called.

        • Anne 17.1.2.1

          The fallout from my case meant I lost my career. I eventually went to the police because the story involved quite a lot of unlawful and criminal behaviour by persons unknown. Initially they were helpful and I thought they were conducting an investigation then suddenly ‘the line went dead’ and I never heard from them again.

          • exkiwiforces 17.1.2.1.1

            Sorry to hear that, yes there can be some real assholes in the mob and sometimes they can’t really handle the truth.

  18. xanthe 18

    well I just watched wayne being interviewed on the street and he seems to be speaking dishonestly

    “at the time of the attack the solders thought they were being attacked by insurgents” (this when he said it the second time)

    this is quite deliberate misdirection!

    had he said “at the time of the attacks they thought they were attacking insurgents”

    I could accept that as uninformed opinion (which would be unfortunate enough)

    What he actually said can only be taken as a dishonest attempt to misdirect.

  19. Muttonbird 19

    So English and NZDF are both restating there were no civilians killed in this operation and that 12 insurgents were killed.

    That is an intractable position to take. How will they back out of it?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11823840

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    2 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    2 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    3 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    3 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    4 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    5 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    5 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    7 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    2 weeks ago