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Who cares about personal privacy? Not Facebook

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, March 28th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

John Edwards, the Privacy Commissioner has ruled that Facebook is subject to our Privacy Act. Isn’t it a shame National Party politicians don’t seem to be.

With all the gnashing of teeth over Facebook we have our own example of absolute disdain for personal information. Privacy is actually a tenet of basic human freedom… but for 9 years it was both eroded and scoffed at by Crown ministers

Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

– Edward Snowden

Three of the main perpetrators remain in parliament today and 2 sit in the hierarchy of the National Party. Two are trained lawyers. Without doubt the less experienced are learning from these 3 and those who went before them, Key, Joyce and English. To assume that new faces have different values or news ways of getting business done is flawed.

Bennett

2017
https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2017/339796/privacy-complaint-over-bennett-campaign-text

2013
http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/winz-privacy-breach-major-stuff-up-2013051816

2012
https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/118159/bennett-‘mortified’-at-msd-security-breach

2009
” a bit of a lesson for what happens if you go out there and put your story.”
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827271
http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3744452/Minister-asked-to-pay-15-000-to-solo-mum

Collins

https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/judith-collins/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10428745/Judith-Collins-misinterprets-privacy-ruling

As an aside given Collins has misunderstood both conflict of interest and a privacy ruling (that or she was lying and knew just what she was doing) , the media, amongst others need to stop giving her views any credence (looking at you national voters).

Finlayson 

Former Attorney General

This man was Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau and the Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, New Zealand’s two main intelligence agencies. It would be nice to think he had a good handle on privacy and personal information… but sadly

As Mickey ably covered yesterday, Finlayson was an abject failure in the Dotcom case. A failure in terms of honouring and upholding the law of privacy and the importance of personal information. Not a failure if your goal is to ensure a man is extradicted according to the wishes of an ally. Remember Warner Bros got a multi million dollar payout under the illusion of the Hobbitt leaving NZ? I bet they wanted Megaupload to stop and never start again. It couldn’t have helped their business model.

National Party

2018

Spam emailed people who signed their petition who had NOT authorised their personal information being used for other purposes

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/102380970/petitioners-added-to-national-partys-mailing-list-without-permission

Jason Ede

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, found ex-adviser Jason Ede and deputy chief of staff Phil de Joux were involved in passing intelligence information to Slater, who later used it to write an attack on then-Labour leader Phil Goff.

The Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has apologised to Goff over the release of briefing notes to Slater.

This is a clear and worrying pattern of behaviour.

Even if deemed legal it does not satisfy the Cabinet Manual which governs the personal and professional conduct of Cabinet Ministers.

General

2.53 To protect the integrity of the decision-making process of executive government and to maintain public trust in the Executive, Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries must conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their office. Accordingly, the guidance in paragraphs 2.55 – 2.106:

  1. explains the standards of personal conduct expected of Ministers;
  2. helps Ministers to identify personal interests that might be seen to influence their decision-making; and
  3. sets out options for managing conflicts of interest where necessary.

2.54 The guidance on conduct, public duty, and personal interests applies to all Ministers (inside and outside Cabinet) and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries. References to Ministers in this guidance include Parliamentary Under-Secretaries.

Conduct of Ministers

2.55 A Minister of the Crown, while holding a ministerial warrant, acts in a number of different capacities:

  1. in a ministerial capacity, making decisions and determining and promoting policy within particular portfolios;
  2. in a political capacity as a member of Parliament, representing a constituency or particular community of interest; and
  3. in a personal capacity.

2.56 In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. This includes exercising a professional approach and good judgement in their interactions with the public and officials, and in all their communications, personal and professional. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.

What has been authorised without our knowledge, given we know that senior Politicians in that Government had very similar ideas about personal information. Namely theirs is sacred (Bennett sought an injunction and Sabin sought name suppression) but ours is for their political use as they see fit.

Andrew Little is looking to make some law changes but until these and those politicians who follow are held personally liable for their mishandling of personal information nothing will change. According to Kirk Hope

a $1m fine was “out of whack”. The reputational cost a company would incur if it misused customers’ information was enough of an incentive to do the right thing, he said.

“That will far outweigh any fine that a privacy commissioner can impose on a business. What are you trying to solve with a penalty?”

The National Party and its politicians are serial offenders and there is no sign they are stopping. maybe they need a penalty?

 

42 comments on “Who cares about personal privacy? Not Facebook”

  1. weka 1

    Nice one Tracey.

    I’m guessing FB are saying fuck off to the Privacy Commissioner because he has no power over them? Which is how National have been playing it. The people who then wanted a big data system whereby the govt could freely share personal information between departments and with NGOs and private companies. Unbelievable.

    • Tracey 1.1

      Facebook NZ customers are covered by NZ law. Who knows what Zuckerberg is saying.

      • Brian Tregaskin 1.1.1

        Fact Facebook does not have to comply with NZ Law, they don’t operate from NZ and their servers are not here.They will consider requests for information on a case by case basis and are within their rights to say no to governments, law enforcement if the request is unreasonable. No Government can own the internet.

        • dev 1.1.1.1

          Well the Privacy Commissioner has said they do have to comply with New Zealand law and nobody with any credibility is disagreeing with them. It’s not about government owning the internet, it’s about regulating companies that operate in New Zealand, like Facebook.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.2

          In what sense is Facebook “the internet”?

          Google certainly aren’t above the law.

        • OncewasTim 1.1.1.3

          That’s probably contestable too. I imagine some lawyers will be giving themselves orgasms (perhaps you are one of them).
          We could get into IP ARGUMENTS, where the info was ‘inputted/originated’ from, shifting cross-border server residency et al.
          Perhaps there’s a tuneity for you to earn yoursef a bundle (going forward).
          There’d be learnings from that for all of us possum (going forward).
          We could shift ALL NZ govt big data offshore to a server in the Caymans and claim no responsibility for its integrity.
          Until that is, something relating to State security and the welfare of the political class might possibly cause embarrassment.
          Òoo, geee. We already have such a possibility

  2. joe90 2

    John Edwards, the Privacy Commissioner has ruled that Facebook is subject to our Privacy Act.

    And as always, read the fucking agreement you’re signing.

    Facebook responded with a blog post laying out the applicable user-agreement terms and denying that Facebook collects call or SMS data surreptitiously. “Contact uploading is optional. People are expressly asked if they want to give permission to upload their contacts from their phone—it’s explained right there in the apps when you get started,” the company said in a statement to the Guardian. “People can delete previously uploaded information at any time and can find all the information available to them in their account and activity log from our Download Your Information tool.”

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/03/zuckerberg-hits-users-with-the-hard-truth-you-agreed-to-this

    • weka 2.1

      nobody reads EULAs etc anymore. I’m surprised that people are surprised that FB is doing this kind of data sharing. But let’s not pretend that the industry is being transparent. They’re not. I’ve given permission for twitter apps to access stuff and I don’t really understand what I’ve done, because no-one explains it properly.

    • Tracey 2.2

      And where is National’s small print? I would suggest that the Cabinet Manual is the small print that allows us to trust their actions…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      So?

      No agreement can contract out of the law.

    • tracey 2.4

      Uploading contacts is not the same as collecting call data

      • joe90 2.4.1

        Seems agreeing to share contacts gave them default permission to access your call data.

        If you granted permission to read contacts during Facebook’s installation on Android a few versions ago—specifically before Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)—that permission also granted Facebook access to call and message logs by default. The permission structure was changed in the Android API in version 16

        https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/03/facebook-scraped-call-text-message-data-for-years-from-android-phones/

        • tracey 2.4.1.1

          Are logs not just who you called and when? Does it include call content?

          • joe90 2.4.1.1.1

            Does it include call content?

            Probably not. But like an index, it tells them where to look so it could be used to obtain content, if content was retained by service providers.

            • tracey 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Joe

              That is much more complicated than the Privacy Act. I wonder why Nats Cabinet Ministers had such deep comprehension issues.

          • OncewasTim 2.4.1.1.2

            Metadata. Indicative but conveniently not substantive.
            But then if I could retrive the shit held in places like ‘Archive Security’; resurect the means an technology by which it was archived, and restore it in the context of where and wjen it wss created….there’d be a shitload more than a Pulla ( or even BOQ Fonlayson) that’d be worried.
            Question is…. how far back you’d wnt to go.
            Would it be just to a Love/skiffington era,WOSRSE STILL his successor and dial-a-bride (bcos “Labour did it too”)… would it be the Stevie Choice era….
            Probably just the best solution might be for the ego and over-ambirous driven to pull their heafs in and hit the reset button.

    • dev 2.5

      Principal three of the act says, roughly, that the agency collecting the information shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual concerned is aware of the intended recipients of the information, and the purpose for which the information is being collected.

      Are you on Facebook and do you have any idea where your data has gone? Do you think Facebook will ever tell you who has it? Given the vast number of groups, with a range of ethical practices, that buy data off them, do you think Facebook could ever, hand on heart, tell you who has your data? Let alone them taking steps to inform you in the proactive way the principals envision? Of course not.

      It’s fine for you to say ‘read the agreement’, but we all know that these agreements are designed to be virtually impenetrable. Otherwise they would contain a plain english version that explains the real nitty-gritty of the proposed actions.

      • joe90 2.5.1

        Given the vast number of groups, with a range of ethical practices, that buy data off them, do you think Facebook could ever, hand on heart, tell you who has your data?

        Any evidence to contradict FB’s assertion that they never sell data?.

        We never sell this data, and this feature does not collect the content of your text messages or calls

        https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/03/fact-check-your-call-and-sms-history/

        It’s fine for you to say ‘read the agreement’, but we all know that these agreements are designed to be virtually impenetrable.

        So?

        In their desperation to get free shit folk are prepared to sign an agreement they don’t understand.

        • dev 2.5.1.1

          Well maybe not sell but ‘supply’ data to. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Facebook do not give a rats about what happens to your data once it is passed on to another agency. It has probably ended up in all sorts of places.

          I think (and most people would agree I think) that companies that operate like this have an obligation to provide this information in a form that is easy for the user to understand; and to positively ensure that the user does understand what they are agreeing to, particularly given the breadth of information people are agreeing to supply. There are all different types of people in society with differing levels of comprehension. For most people I’d say many of the Facebook agreements are gibberish which are written (purposefully) obfuscate the substance of the agreement. I think people rightly expect that if they are forming an agreement with someone and if there are any really serious implications in the agreement, their attention will be brought to it; not buried deep in a screed of writing that may as well be Latin.

          Do you read the text, word for word, of every online agreement you have ever entered into? Plus taken the time to consider any implications, looked up relevant cases so you can see how those situations might play out before hitting ‘i agree’? Of course not, it’s an absurd argument.

    • Paul Campbell 2.6

      I haven’t signed anything – but my wife uses FB on an android phone – FB apparently has records of all my calls and all my texts ….

      Oh and that guy who signed up to FB using my email address (FB don;t check that emails are valid, and they do send a LOT of spam), they have my email address too, and probably think I’m him and have tied his activities to my text and phone calls, my wife probably gets ads for divorce lawyers ….

      So I haven’t signed a EULA, and the NZ privacy laws apply to me, I’d contact FB and do something, but apparently they don’t have modern things like email addresses of phone numbers, you can only contact them from inside their reality bubble …. after signing their EULA

  3. savenz 3

    Our government has been shocking. Who can trust them anymore?

    Finnlayson is one of the worst because he basically was trying to pervert justice in the dot com case and also set a new scary precedent for human rights to extradite people as a sort of back slapping exercise to please the US and do a whole lot of scary breaches with public resources like police and illegal surveillance to make it try and stick when they didn’t do any due diligence in the first place about how legal their own actions were. Shows shocking arrogance and worse.

    Next is Jason Ede who has suffered zero consequences to his actions and seems to have been given a cushy job for them.

    Then all the lying about operation Burham, when civilians have actually been murdered. (Whether intentional or not, they are all still dead).

    Gosh all those breaches by National ministers and apparently the only newsworthy thing is that Curren and Hirschfeld has a meeting at a cafe.

    Not sure if it’s because they are women and not lawyers and nothing seems to have actually happened, why it seems as significant?????

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Finnlayson is one of the worst because he basically was trying to pervert justice in the dot com case

      I still say that there is enough prima facie evidence to say that the entire National Party Caucus conspired to break the law on that one and that a Royal Investigation be mounted into it.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Amen to that.

        SCF also please as that needs sunlight. Folk are furious that SCF investors did more than OK when pretty much all the others failed spectacularly. It smells still even now.

  4. savenz 4

    As for Facebook. Either delete the account, or don’t put personal information on there, or put loads of errors so that the information starts to become worthless.

    • xanthe 4.1

      now thats a really good idea savenz

      poison the data with errors !
      Anyone who thinks deleting the facebook account will alter anything past (or prevent new data being linked to extant data!) is naive
      I wonder if a mass movement of data poisoning could be mounted and tools created to assist.

      hmmmm

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Wouldn’t really work.

        All that would happen is that the people with non-conventional data patterns would simply be put into their own cluster and targeted with different ads.

        A bit like Lprent saying a while back he was considering blocking tor browser nodes because a lot of trolls or what have you use them. Blocking the nodes was as good as blocking the trolls themselves.

        Data mining isn’t about drawing direct conclusions from specific comments or posts so much as it’s about using overall patterns of use to tailor inputs and elicit specific responses. Incoherent responses are just another data pattern.

  5. Ad 5

    +100 Tracy

    Unfortunately I think there is about as much chance of holding any of those characters to account, as there is a chance that the owner of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg will be fronting up to the British Parliamentry representatives of the people he has damaged:

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/27/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-declines-to-appear-before-uk-fake-news-inquiry-mps

    Zuckerberg has flatly refused to appear before British Parliamentarians.

    His refusal means there will be a growing call for the full global regulation of social media as a whole.

    • Tracey 5.1

      Agreed Ad.

      The voters ultimately decide and 44% are cool with it. Until their info is taken… I also wonder how many nat voters have streaming boxes in their homes…

      • adam 5.1.1

        44% of voters. But not 44% of the population, just a group who are loud, arrogant and self absorbed.

        The fact is a growing number of kiwis don’t vote, and one of the many reasons they don’t vote because of the actions of the politicians and their hacks you mentioned in this post Tracey.

        Until these people are held to account, then expect voting to continue to fall.

      • Incognito 5.1.2

        We’ve been here before, many times. Many issues, especially really complex ones, are non-issues for many people until you specifically draw their attention to it, e.g. by asking a specific (and leading?) question. And just because people answer in a certain way, e.g. in polls or surveys, doesn’t mean that the subject matter has been actively on their minds till they were asked, far from it.

        GCSB Bill vs snapper quota

  6. mary_a 6

    Cabinet Manual …”3/2.56 in a personal capacity … ”

    Perverted serial pony tail fondlers exempt obviously!

    • tracey 6.1

      One of its biggest failings is the PM is sole arbiter of the Cabinet Manual.

      Clearly it will be hard to get Parliamentarians to support holding these Ministers accountable let alone making the Cabinet Manual binding by, say, a committee of MPs. Which MP would order Collins to resign or otherwise sanction?

      There but for the grace of God etc…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        The Serious Fraud Office should oversee the Cabinet Manual.

        • tracey 6.1.1.1

          No politician would vote for it. And therein lies the problem

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1

            The Prime Minister and cabinet oversee the Cabinet Manual, not Parliament. Nothing to stop the executive devolving some of those duties.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2

            Yes, politicians, especially the party of personal responsibility, never will vote for them being held accountable for their actions. It’s how Key got away with sexual assault on a waitress and didn’t lose his job and go to jail as should have happened.

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    Ironic really that Bennett was only too happy to expose clients and their WINZ business but was very quick to slap down and shut down any exposure of her life pre politics – and effectively at that. Never a word has been uttered since then – wonderful what a bit of power can give a person – privilege and privacy. One day we may know about her antics but I am not holding my breath.

    • tc 7.1

      You’ll not hear about any of that from the msm unless it’s the subject of some formal or perhaps legal activity that can’t be ignored.

      Can you imagine the screams of indignation and calls for sacking if any current govt minister did something similar to just one of Bennett’s many indiscretions.

      Rules and laws are applied and enforced selectively by national, its their MO which their msm cheerleaders dutifully follow.

  8. RedLogix 8

    There is a lot more to this; but this link gives a quick introduction into what is going on here, and why this is such a big story;

    At the core of the Cambridge Analytica’s work is a personality assessment called the “Big Five.” Researchers had users take a personality test then download an app, which scraped data from their Facebook profiles and those of their friends. Correlating the quiz results with the profile data, the firm were able to build software which could personality profile millions of Facebook users based on their “likes.” It’s the big data equivalent of having everyone in the country take a personality test.

    https://www.truity.com/blog/why-would-political-advertising-campaign-be-interested-your-big-five-personality-traits

    • tracey 8.1

      Apparently Clare Curran and Carol Hirschfield is a resign Minister story…

      Only a few months in.

      In total how many “resign Minister” stories ran?

      Collins didnt resign over her causing death threats
      Bennett didnt resign over abuse of power
      Smith didnt resign over abuse of power
      Finlayson hasnt resigned over abuse of power

      Under Bennett multiple privacy breaches out of WINZ…

  9. silvertuatara 9

    In response to allegations reported in the stuff article below, is it now time to shed some additional light into the spread of Palantir’s activities within NZ which seem to be shrouded in a lot of secrecy still?;

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/102690350/emails-link-peter-thiels-palantir-to-facebooks-cambridge-analytica-fiasco

    And given Peter Thiel’s and Facebook’s alleged links to Cambridge Analytica, is it time that ministers of the NZ Government review seriously the past approval of NZ citizenship to Mr Thiel, and the associated approval of land purchases within our country?

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    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
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