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Whistleblowers

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, June 17th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: accountability, Ethics, suppression orders - Tags: , , ,

At time of writing the front page of Newsroom has a post:

Hunt Nearly Over – The search for the sources of leaked sensitive Government plans to open up protected conservation land to mining and merge parts of the state sector is close to an end.

We the people have much to thank whistleblowers for. From the famous ones internationally, to the local ones like the Hollow Men leakers or those involved in the mining leak. But authority certainly doesn’t like whistleblowers, and language such as this “hunt” is indicative of their attitudes.

Spare a thought just now for the man who brought whistleblowing into the web age, Julian Assange, a prime mover in wikileaks.org, currently being “hunted” by The Pentagon. The Guardian reports:

Pentagon hunts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in bid to gag website

Soldier Bradley Manning said to have leaked diplomatic cables to whistleblower, plus video of US troops killing Iraqis

American officials are searching for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks in an attempt to pressure him not to publish thousands of confidential and potentially hugely embarrassing diplomatic cables that offer unfiltered assessments of Middle East governments and leaders.

The Daily Beast, a US news reporting and opinion website, reported that Pentagon investigators are trying to track down Julian Assange an Australian citizen who moves frequently between countries after the arrest of a US soldier last week who is alleged to have given the whistleblower website a classified video of American troops killing civilians in Baghdad.

The soldier, Bradley Manning, also claimed to have given WikiLeaks 260,000 pages of confidential diplomatic cables and intelligence assessments. The US authorities fear their release could “do serious damage to national security”, said the Daily Beast, which is published by Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and New Yorker magazines.

More details here, here, here and see Manning’s site here.

Like most other activities in the complicated real world, whistleblowing can be a grey area. Some thugs, like Paula Bennet with her attacks on individual beneficiaries, or Cameron Slater with his violation of name suppression, might think of themselves as whistleblowers, but they are not. To my mind the crucial distinctions are (1) whether information being released relates to an individual (probably wrong) or to an organisation like a company or the state (probably right), and (2) the level of genuine public interest in socially significant issues. When a whistleblower takes on a big organisation over a matter of genuine public significance they are taking a risk, in some cases a huge risk (see the discussions of legal protection, and the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative). I for one salute such whistleblowers, and hope that there will always be people who are brave enough to make sure that we the people know the truth.

37 comments on “Whistleblowers”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Whistleblowers need to be protected in law. We need to know what large organisations, especially government, are doing so that we can stop them before they do too much damage.

    • Croc 1.1

      Pretty sure they already are protected under NZ law

    • r0b 1.2

      See:

      In January 2001, the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 came into force. This is commonly known as the “whistle-blower’ legislation. Under this Act, Ombudsmen are responsible for providing advice and guidance to any employee who has made, or is considering making, a disclosure about serious wrong-doing in their work place (either public or private sector). The Ombudsmen are also one of the “appropriate authorities’ listed in the Act to whom a protected disclosure may be made.

      • Rex Widerstrom 1.2.1

        And does this work in practice in a country as small as NZ, I wonder?

        You blow the whistle on one organisation, and they all think “Hold on, we’ve got a bit of dirty linen out back. S/he can’t be relied on to do what’s best for the organisation”. Welcome to the world of long term unemployment or forced emigration 🙁

        To a degree that’s true of anywhere of course. But in a small pond like NZ, anyone who makes a splash attracts the attention of all the other inhabitants.

    • Ari 1.3

      Whistleblowers should have the presumption of protection. If they genuinely endanger someone’s life, then I can see a case for prosecution.

  2. David 2

    I agree entirely. The whistleblower who released the “Climategate” emails exposing the workings of the cabal of climate scientists and their manipulation of the peer review process is a hero.

    Ha, spam word was “irritate”

    • r0b 2.1

      Well yeah, I guess if s/he had uncovered anything interesting that would have counted as another example of whistleblowing. But they didn’t, so it was just muckraking. Not exactly a high risk example either, it’s not like pissing off scientists involves any risk.

      • Ulf 2.1.1

        And written evidence submitted to the committee by the Institute of Physics in London claimed the hacked emails had revealed “prima facie evidence of determined and coordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions” through “manipulation of the publication and peer-review system” and “intolerance to challenge”.
        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18599-climategate-scientist-questioned-in-parliament.html

        The main reason why people were not investigated with the intent to prosecute for actions (apparent violation of the FOI act) uncovered through Climategate was the 6-month statute of limitations. So even if that had been all, I think it counts as successful whistleblowing.

        The scientific debate has changed radically since Climategate, and many point to serious deficiencies in the peer-review process (how many knew that it was common practice not to ask for corroborating evidence, such as data series, when reviewing a scientific paper? Or that leading scientists would actively resist and subvert attempts to try to replicate – and maybe falsify – their work?) You may not like the politics of those supporting the Climategate events, but even those involved have admitted to writing some pretty terrible things in emails. There was most definitely bullying and attempts to keep contrary findings out of the peer-reviewed literature.

        I am on no particular side in the climate debate, other than being a firm (bordering on fanatic) believer in the scientific process. Any PhD student should know that as soon as you start trying to win the argument, rather than searching for the truth, you are no longer practicing science.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Sure there will be changes in how the science is done. But I don’t suspect there will be a lot.

          Peer review means exactly that – examination of your findings and conclusions by people who are capable of understanding what you’re writing about. That doesn’t mean some self-appointed scientifically illiterate vigilantes who are incapable of either being able to read or interpret the data, and unable to reproduce the experiments. Most of the reason for the climate scientists to be so defensive is because of the decades of sustained abuse that they have had on the topic of climate change. The FOI requests are just another level of abuse from the same luddites. They suck up precious time and resources.

          The key thing to remember is that the more you have a understanding of earth sciences, the more likely you are to think that anthropogenic climate change is happening. That is opinion formed purely on the basis of the physical processes involved. In the case of climate scientists it is way over 95% and provided the closest thing to a total agreement that I’ve ever seen in a field of science.

          The reason that no-one was prosecuted over Climategate was because there was nothing to prosecute for. Quite simply to do so would have required that most people working in science would have had to have been prosecuted. It is difficult to explain a specialized area of science to people that don’t have the basics and don’t want to listen to the conclusions. That is the politicians job, not that of scientists.

          • Ulf 2.1.1.1.1

            Let’s stick to the facts that have been uncovered. In the hearings, it was clearly stated that there was “prima facie evidence” that the FOI act had been violated. There was no criminal investigation (which would have been required to state, as you did, that there was nothing to prosecute for), because of the statute of limitations. One finding, then, was that the statute of limitations was so short (6 months) as to render the FOI act almost useless.

            Even in the quite unimpressive investigations “clearing” the scientists, it was remarked that it was inappropriate that they had not involved professional statisticians more, given that so much of their research was of statistical nature.

            “It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this
            work because it is fundamentally statistical. Under such circumstances there must be an obligation on researchers to document the judgemental decisions they have made so that the work can in principle be replicated by others.”
            http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP (Oxburgh panel para 6)

            In para 3, they write “…inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing
            misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, …”.

            See e.g. http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=345&filename=1059664704.txt
            for an example of how “trusted colleagues” (who, presumably, were worthy of replicating their work), were given the data, and still required quite a lot of assistance to understand how it could be replicated “in theory” (since Mann couldn’t find all the data even then).

            I have not argued that AGW is not happening – that’s outside my realm. I am just saying that much inappropriate behaviour was revealed in Climategate, and at the end of the day, after the fudging of data to fit preconceived ideas, failing to archive data that doesn’t fit the conclusions, actively blocking the publication of papers (even admitting in the process that they hadn’t even read the papers before declaring they were crap), we actually know much less than we thought we did.

            I don’t think anyone has ever doubted the conviction of these scientists, but at least I thought that the standard for a “leading scientist” was much higher than this. The great scientists I know are not great because they bully people into submission. They are great because they share, inspire, listen, and carefully annotate their work. Maybe my sample of leading scientists has been too small to be significant?

            I sincerely hope that people take the opportunity to improve the process (not least guarding against scientists becoming victims of political or ideological blackmail – even the scientists I know and admire spent as much time chasing funding as they do research), rather than just circling the wagons and yelling “the science is settled!”

            • r0b 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Let’s stick to the facts that have been uncovered.

              OK

              Even in the quite unimpressive investigations “clearing’ the scientists

              Facts are that the investigations (two separate ones at least) did clear the scientists, no need for “scare quotes”.

              it was remarked that it was inappropriate that they had not involved professional statisticians more, given that so much of their research was of statistical nature.

              Te horrors! That’s the best they got?

              Meanwhile, the ice is still melting and the temperatures are still rising. So I guess despite their occasional imperfections the CRU scientists got it right.

              • Ulf

                Sigh… the quoting was because the panel itself didn’t say that they cleared the scientists. Others have made bold claims that they proved that the science was right. The report itself said “The Panel was not concerned with the question of whether the conclusions of the published research were correct.” All in all the panel spent about three working days each reading some “representative publications” (sic – but they basically asked CRU what they should read, so it was apparently the people under investigation who got to pick papers that demonstrated their own integrity) and talking to the people at the CRU. Are we to trust that they got it right just because they said what was expected of them?

                Why do I get the feeling that many of those who most adamantly decry the leaking of CRU emails and applaud the subsequent investigations haven’t even bothered to read the emails, any in-depth analyses of them, or indeed even the panel reports that claimed that there was nothing there?

                I will stop following this thread now and revert back to my previous mode of never engaging in discussion threads on climate issues. I will simply try to follow the science, to the best of my ability, and try to understand what we actually know.

                On the article itself, agreed. Whistleblowing is tricky and generally thankless. In Scandinavia, we have worked on the principle that all information generated by tax-funded agencies is public, unless it needs to be exempt for good reason. Public officials not only have the right, but in fact the duty to reveal actions that are in violation with the law or the agency’s mission, and by law, they cannot be fired for doing so (and agencies are not allowed to investigate the source of the leak of information that the public is legally entitled to). This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t know who did it, and that that person will not get in trouble (they often do).

                One of the things we’ve seen in recent years is that, as agencies increasingly use the web, and automatically make public information available on the web, there is no need for whistleblowers indside the organization – it ought to be enough with good journalists, but quite often it is bloggers who direct attention to examples of misconduct. It can be tremendously educational to browse municipal meeting notes on child care, court transcripts from IPR trials etc. – but shocking too! In many cases, it seems as if the people involved have not yet understood that people will actually read the drivel they produce, and take them to task on it…

                The way to get rid of whistleblowers is not to hunt them down, but to eliminate the need for them in the first place.

    • lprent 2.2

      And the people who selectively picked amongst the decade of e-mails deliberately misinterpreting what they saw were completely despicable arseholes who should go down in history as the scientific morons that they have proven themselves to be.

      I’m sure you’ll agree…. Otherwise you’re just another one of them.

      • Macro 2.2.1

        And the weren’t really “whistleblowers” in the commonly accepted use of the term ie. working within the organisation and alerting others outside the organisation to a systematic or deliberate malpractice or ill-intent. The so-called breakers of the “climate e-mails were hackers from outside who STOLE. Nor was there any systematic malpractice or ill-intent discovered although the inquiry did find that in certain instances there were things that might have been better handled – not the earth shattering deliberate deception that the hackers and David want to claim.

        • insder 2.2.1.1

          the Wikileaks guy said on Radio NZ that it was someone with legitimate access to the material, not a hack. The impression was it was someone at the university handling the OIA, and was inspired by concern over failure to release the data.

    • singularian 2.3

      Well said David, and quite true.

      edit – my spam word – backs

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Well, they could have been heroes if they’d actually leaked anything that showed duplicitous dealings which they didn’t. What they did do was release specific, purposefully misinterpreted and out of context lines to try and back the oil companies lies and misdirections. So, what they actually are are liars and scum.

      • singularian 2.4.1

        No they actually released the entire emails not lines, there was nothing purposefully misinterpreted because there was no interpretation at all by the person/s who released them. Most of the emails were the entire string of the conversation and if you look through the documents accompanying the emails you will see that the big bad oil companies were bankrolling the HC and the CRU.

        Have a look for yourself – emails

        I’m sure you can find a copy of the documents if you really try. When you do check out uea-tyndall-shell-memo-doc theres a couple more in there to, from BP and ESSO from memory.

        So who are the lairs again?

        • lprent 2.4.1.1

          Yes, but rather than releasing all of the e-mails, they just released the ones with particular people involved and about particular topics. In other words whoever released the emails was cherry picking.

          I strongly suspect that there was a reason for that omission, and that it wouldn’t have helped the leakers viewpoint.

          Subsequently most of the CCDs have then quoted passages from the e-mails, and done so usually completely out of context – which is quote apparent when you read the actual e-mail sequences (and have some idea of what they’re talking about).

          • singularian 2.4.1.1.1

            Funny then that UEA has made no attempt to release the rest of the emails to put them into context. I strongly suspect that is because there is no deeper story here, just arrogance, hubris and a total lack of ethics.

            The story to watch unfold in the next few months is GISS repeatedly saying ‘warmist year ever, warmist decade ever etc etc’. When you look at their data 95% of the increased warming is in the Arctic. When you look at the stations they are taking the data from there are only 24 covering the entire Arctic above 75 degrees north. 12 of the 24 are in Greenland. The most northerly is in Barrow, Alaska at approx 80 degrees north. From these they are extrapolating the entire Arctic circle as an area of extreme warming ie 5 degrees plus, which means, if true, the temp has dropped from an average of minus 20 to minus 15. Its like taking data from a Kermadec weather station and using it to give the temperature in Stewart Island. Doesn’t stack up.

            • lprent 2.4.1.1.1.1

              There is a wee thing called privacy laws. Of course this didn’t bother the thief.

              Of course climate changes will be most extreme in the near polar areas. What else did you expect? There are the same dearth of stations in Antarticia as well. If you look in the mid pacific you find the same limited numbers of stations. In fact you can find it thoughout the globe.

              It would be nice to have more – perhaps you should start advocating for more funding. But really your argument is somewhat pathetic

              • singularian

                But really your argument is somewhat pathetic

                Speaking of pathetic – privacy laws? – ha ha – weak, man.

                So you’re saying that all the emails that were released, that made a group of about 20 people look like unethical activist/scientists, producing suspect/bad work, knowing they were producing bad work and then actively conspiring to cover it up, and now those 20 odd people don’t want to release any emails that would show that they weren’t doing any of the above?

                Doesn’t quite seem right to me.

                There are many more stations that GISS don’t use. For oceans we have Argos with 8 years worth of data, and you’re right we do need more because we’re not getting the true picture with the ones currently being used, especially on land or over sea ice. Extrapolating from 80 degrees north to come up with temps up to the pole is wrong in every way, better to leave it blank and say ‘we haven’t worked out how to measure temp up there yet’.

                In other words the data isn’t reliable and comprehensive enough to come to any firm conclusions which is what most of us CCDs’ have been saying all along.

                • lprent

                  The problem that the CCDs have is that the basic science of how you get physical climate change from increased greenhouse gases is straight forward. The observations show that it is happening. The only surprising thing is how slowly it is happening – and that is because of the degree of buffering going on in the biosphere and oceans.

                  Of course since 1979 there is an overall observation from various earth watching satellites using a number of methods to estimate temperatures at various levels in the air column that cover the bulk of territory. Initially they were pretty bad, but have been getting a lot better over time. The ground stations are there primarily to validate and calibrate the satellite data – in particular the many other factors that distort their readings. For instance simple variation in the orbital positions, water vapor, etc etc.

                  That means that there need to be sufficient stations at ground or sealevel to do that calibration. There probably are. But I’d like to see more, if only because the ground stations themselves have vagaries due to geographical position from height above sealevel to wind factors.

                  But basically your position is bollocks because there is enough information on a global scale to show the regional changes. It broadly fits with the expected changes in the climate of more energy being in the system. There is a lot of work to do to get accurate forecasting models simply because there is so much buffering in the water, biological systems, and heat transfer systems going on. Of course buffering isn’t permanent. Eventually that CO2 and heat will get released back into the system and each increment getting buffered is likely to diminish to some degree the ability to have further buffering.

                  IMHO – you just prefer not to look at it in case it disturbs you. A common problem amongst CCDs. That is why you always micro-pick on observational techniques because you’re just too cowardly or self-interested to look at the overall picture. CCDs seem to be gutless wonders generally.

  3. toad 3

    Well said, Lynn. It’s not often you use such strong language, but in this case, totally appropriate.

    But I think that in the case of the “Climategate” emails, the leaker was most likely in league with at least some of the despicable arseholes from the start. The whole intent of the leak (theft, actually, if a server was hacked, as I understand it was) was to provide a huge quantity of information from which fellow travelers could cherry-pick and misinterpret selective items, while drowning those attempting to refute the malicious claims of impropriety under the sheer volume of the information disclosed.

    • Ari 3.1

      Hacking a server is not theft. Theft involves physical property loss.

      • Armchair Critic 3.1.1

        Hacking can be theft. Property is not just physical objects.

      • felix 3.1.2

        What if someone hacks a server and copies your credit card number and bank account details?

    • really 3.2

      Toad, you sycophant, that was the most obvious brown nosing I’ve witnessed for quite some time. You’ll do well in a govt. department young man.

      Lets assume CRU was generally right about climate change, the fact remains CRU got busted playing silly buggers.

  4. Great post, I am sure Erin Leigh would agree.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      You’re an idiot.’

      • Bob Stanforth 4.1.1

        Im sure she would agree IrishBill – isnt this post about protecting whistleblowers of all political (or apolitical) leaning if what they do is expose behaviour that is either illegal or outside of agreed convention? You cant pick and chose your moral stance just because someone votes differently.

        Or can you, and thereby effectively call into question all the things you hold morally to be true?

  5. Quoth the Raven 5

    I linked to a good piece earlier in the week about Obama’s refusal to prosecute anyone for the crimes of the Bush adminstration whilst he is increasingly going after whistleblowers with a vengeance:

    All of that would be bad enough if his generous immunity were being applied across the board. But it isn’t. Numerous incidents now demonstrate that as high-level Bush lawbreakers are vested with presidential immunity, low-level whistle blowers who exposed serious wrongdoing and allowed citizens some minimal glimpse into what our government does are being persecuted by the Obama administration with a vengeance. Yesterday it was revealed by Wired that the Army intelligence officer analyst who reportedly leaked the Apache helicopter attack video to Wikileaks — and thus enabled Americans to see what we are really doing in Iraq and other countries which we occupy and attack — has been arrested (Wikileaks denies the part of that report claiming that the whistle blower also leaked to it “hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records’). This latest episode led Der Spiegel today to decry Obama’s “war on whistle blowers’ as more severe than the one waged by the Bush administration (English translation here).

  6. Bill 6

    “To my mind the crucial distinctions are (1) whether information being released relates to an individual (probably wrong) or to an organisation like a company or the state (probably right), and (2) the level of genuine public interest in socially significant issues.”

    Or more simply ( if tortuously put)……Whistle-blowing is when light is shed on acts proposed or unfolding, that are perpetrated by agencies occupying a position or vantage of power; that seek security in a culture of unaccountability and whose actions would have effects reaching beyond the principle actors.

  7. freedom 7

    As the mainstream media has joined the hunt for Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks
    i thought i would post this little ‘govt. how-to’ for those that missed it back in March.

    http://file.wikileaks.org/file/us-intel-wikileaks.pdf

  8. vto 8

    This post does highlight a very real risk and threat to anyone who goes against large organisations or even large people! It is an inescapeable reality.

    For our own part, an entirely legitimate way of ‘attacking’ the pro-irrigation lobby in Canterbury has been partly begun. However it stalls at each very minor step because if successful we would be some of the most hated people in Canterbury (well, by the farmers and the likes of David Carter and his ilk anyway). And that is a very big call – to do that with one’s life. And often not just your own life but those of your family etc too, caught up in the tailwind.

    Yea, so big ups to those heroes who stand up to the Goliaths. It aint for all of us….

  9. Gazza 9

    Whistle-Blowers Have their place in some circumstance but we have to careful of the Forth Estate (Media), as any information will be adjusted to suit their spin on things.
    Most so called civilised country’s have a hierarchy Starting from the top.
    The Forth Estate (Media)
    Government
    Local Bodies
    Blue collar Idiots
    Then the ordinary people who only have the whistle_blowers to try and keep things in perspective.

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    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    3 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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