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Why are we paying Key’s legal expenses for him?

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, March 23rd, 2016 - 81 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, john key, journalism, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

Key has swallowed a dead rat in the settlement with Bradley Ambrose. He wanted to use taxpayer money to pay his settlement to Ambrose, but the public outcry drew attention to the rules and he didn’t get away with it.

Somewhat lost in the coverage of the back down is the fact that Key has still used taxpayer money to pay his undisclosed legal expenses in the case. Why? He was meeting Banks as leader of the National party, not in any ministerial capacity. Why does he get to use taxpayer money to pay his own bills?

RNZ – Teapot tapes: PM pressured to reveal legal costs

The Prime Minister is coming under pressure to disclose how much taxpayer’s money has been spent on legal costs in so-called ‘teapot-tapes’ defamation case.

John Key will not cover the cost of his cash payment to a freelance journalist from taxpayer funds, but his legal costs have already been paid out of his Leader’s Budget, which is taxpayer funded.

Emerson in The Herald:

teapot-dead-rat

81 comments on “Why are we paying Key’s legal expenses for him?”

  1. Fustercluck 1

    Oh my god. I have reached near toxic levels of schadenfreude.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.1

      I gain no pleasure from seeing a person’s unprincipled character exposed. Instead I feel a mixture of pity and anger that there are people out there who will still continue to support and vote for such a person who is leading our country by the nose towards corporate rule.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.1

        Not just unprincipled but stupid. Key’s net worth may be approaching $100m by now if he has seen his fortune appreciate over the past 6-7 years like the other one-percenters. Yet he was daft enough not to pay Ambrose around$50k-$75k (he will be lying about it being really small); a drop in the bucket to him. It is the same in relation to the legal expenses-he should pay these out of his own pocket pronto or this will drag on an on.

        The teflon is flaking-off. It is issues like this that the electorate understands and picks up on. 46% goes to 45% and bingo; bye bye Johnny.

        • whateva next? 1.1.1.1

          “….bye bye Johnny.” ……and please take your photo album with you

          • Smilin 1.1.1.1.1

            Trouble with people like Key I

          • Smilin 1.1.1.1.2

            Trouble with people like Key is you get rid of one then a few years later there’s another . Look how long it took to go from Muldoon to him .The nats will be doing their damndest to make sure its not that long again fuck them .

          • Grace Miller 1.1.1.1.3

            You mean the Oravida mugshot file?

            Their head office looks like a National Party Conference!

            This vainglorious sexual fetishist prick should pay his own way on this; he won’t, though. The Emperor’s clothes are well and truly see-through.

  2. John Shears 2

    This in the same ethically repugnant attitude as the Tax avoidance by large International companies is in my opinion,

    Th PM way well pay his tax bill on his NZ earnings as I do on my superannuation payments and interest on my small savings but in spite of being on a generous salary he seems to be expert at avoiding paying from his own pocket for debts such as these.

    He has admitted he was wrong so just take a deep breath and pay,
    That is what real people do regardless of how difficult it might be.

    He says that he feels that we should wait and see what the OECD come up with as far as the International Co’s tax avoidance is concerned and his government is not a signatory?

    No evidence , just a thought that comes to me , but Is his reported $50 million plus wealth connected in some way to these tax thieves, that is what they are really, and is that why he is reluctant to do anything to correct this anomaly?

    • dv 2.1

      He says that he feels that we should wait and see what the OECD come up with as far as the International Co’s tax avoidance is concerned and his government is not a signatory?

      NOTE
      his Govt is NOT –Note NOT a signatory!!!!

      • It’s the same “someone else can go first” attitude that National displayed on climate change. They don’t want to be the first country to “anger” multinationals, as they’ve bought into the notion that taxation flight is a huge risk, rather than a minor one.

  3. mickysavage 3

    Someone should start a whip around for him. Seems poor John was that broke he had to rely on public money to pay for his defence.

    If an average punter receives legal aid their lawyer is meant to certify that their handling of the case is appropriate and they have a realistic chance of success.

    Shame these same requirements were not applied to Key.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Legal Aid is just a loan isn’t it?

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Only the poor person’s version of legal aid.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        I don’t think so, but it seems pretty hard to qualify for legal aid.

        • ianmac 3.1.2.1

          Looked it up. Should have done it at first.
          “Legal aid is usually provided as a loan. In certain circumstances, no repayment may be required.”

    • ianmac 3.2

      Key can’t be too hard up since he again has Max in the limelight. (From NZ Farmer on Stuff.)
      “He said his son Max was studying a double-major in Economics and Maths “and that sort of carry on”.

      “He sits there and says, ‘shall I go to Harvard and do an MBA?’.

      “I go ‘yeah mate, at some point you should and if you want to go we’ll pay’. Why? Because you’re paying a lot of money but you’re guaranteeing his CV aren’t you, that at some point it looks pretty cool.”
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/78158536/new-zealand-should-house-the-harvard-of-agriculture-says-prime-minister-john-key

    • alwyn 3.3

      “Someone should start a whip around for him”.
      That is what the Labour Party tried after they got pinged by the Auditor-General for using Parliamentary funds to pay for the pledge card wasn’t it? They changed the law to make it retrospectively legal and said they wouldn’t pay it back. Then they discovered that the public weren’t going to play along with that and decided they had to find the money somehow.
      I had friends, Labour Party members, who got a begging request. They were both very unhappy with the idea and never coughed up anything. There view was roughly “Bugger them. H1 and H2 stole it. Let them pay it”.
      I supposed someone might have given a little but, if I remember correctly, all the Labour MPs had to pay up.

      • mickysavage 3.3.1

        We did have a whip around and paid that money back. And no member that I know had the view that you claim your friends had.

        A number of members made substantial contributions.

        And the retrospective legislation was a technical requirement that had to be passed as had been explained to RWNJs millions of times. Doesn’t seem to stop the spin …

      • Trey 3.3.2

        but but but…….. Labour did it too. Jesus I am tired of that line.

        • alwyn 3.3.2.1

          No that is not the case. There is certainly no “did it too”
          Labour did try to get their members to pay up.
          As far as I know the National party have done no such thing.

  4. Why are we paying Key’s legal expenses for him?

    Because he can get that to happen, because even though he wears suits, gets to go to fancy places, plays golf with the American President and has a heap of money, at heart he’s an ordinary little scumbag.

  5. ianmac 5

    Gordon Campbell has the real oil on whether Key was right to get the original legal defence funds. Comment Micky?
    “If so, that would be surprising – since the rest of the Speakers’ rules place really strict conditions on when such costs – including legal costs – can be counted as being legitimate parliamentary business. Key can find some solace in one aspect of the Speakers Rules. Parts 5c(i) and (ii) for instance, count as valid parliamentary business : “participating in processes related to the formation of a Government; or (ii) participating in party meetings relating to post-election strategies….” Arguably, both were aspects of the Tea Party meeting in 2011 between Key and Act Party leader John Banks.

    However – and fatally for Key’s position – that clause 5(d)(ii) also says that the following do not count as valid parliamentary business :

    (ii) work directly related to the administration or management of a political party; or (iii) electioneering. (My bold.)
    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2016/03/22/john-key-putting-defamation-costs-on-the-public-tab/

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I would agree with Campbell’s comments. There is no way this meeting involved ministerial or government business. A clearer case of electioneering it is hard to contemplate.

      • TC 5.1.1

        Nor was it private being held in an open cafe with a full contingent of media, police and protective services.

        I passed parker on the street and asked him whattup. It was a stage managed public event with ali akram chatting with banksy outside waiting for shonky to showup.

  6. alwyn 6

    I find it rather funny that Winston Peters has the gall to climb on this bandwagon.
    This is the fellow who pinched about $150,000 of taxpayer money for the 2005 election campaign. He then co-operated with an equally morally corrupt Labour Party to make it retrospectively legal and then refused to pay it back.
    Are we seriously willing to listen to that charlatan on this subject?

    • Hanswurst 6.1

      Who cares about “gall”? Enough has been written about Mr. Peters’ exploits; he’s been well and truly put under the microscope and the findings are there for all to see. His points about Key right now seem to be right on the money, and that’s all that is relevant to the case at hand. Quit the stupid distractions.

    • adam 6.2

      Stop spinning alwyn, it’s getting tired. And rather close to bald face lying, actually the stuff about Clark is. And you know I’m no fan of labour, so me defending them means you are talking a lot of feces.

      Note:

      Winston paid for that mistake big time, remember when NZ first was crucified by your lot?

      They were voted out of parliament! Punished by the voters.

      They do.

      • TC 6.2.1

        Yup and winnie has the fridge well stocked with items he will be serving up over the coming months

    • Trey 6.3

      but but but…….Winston did it too

      • alwyn 6.3.1

        You are quite wrong. This is a question of Key not claiming taxpayer money for the damages and a suggestion that he might repay some money that people claim may have been wrongly paid.
        Winston certainly spent a great deal of money that he had no claim on.
        What Winston did was to support a retrospective change to the law that let him keep it.
        Then he, unlike Labour, DID keep it. Not a cent was ever returned to the taxpayers.

        • Trey 6.3.1.1

          So Key plans to repay the money already spent on legal fees?

          • alwyn 6.3.1.1.1

            How would I have any idea? I have no more knowledge of what the rules are about such a thing than anybody else round here. It isn’t really comparable is it.

            • lprent 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Exactly comparable. It was an activity done by MP(s) for their political party. That was the line that the right were running at the time.

              Directly comparable. Or a case of massive hypocrisy on your part.

              Key or the National party should pay their own legal costs. I as a taxpayer should not.

  7. slumbergod 7

    He has his own Uncle Scrooge style Money Bin so why can’t he use his own money to pay for his screw ups? This is one of the problems with rich people — they just never have enough and they cringe when they have to spend any of it. I was cringing this week about spending too…do I splash out and pay for a flu vaccine knowing it will be all my spending money gone for the week. Key is such a prick.

  8. Observer (Tokoroa) 8

    Poor Alwyn
    .
    he would rather lie – than speak a straight word. What a disgusting way to live.

    • alwyn 8.1

      There, there diddums.
      Why not sit down and have a nice cup of tea.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        You’re the one who seems to be all heated up and are spinning the lies.

        • alwyn 8.1.1.1

          And just which lies are these? You throw your accusations around very widely but never give any details. Hardly surprising I suppose. You can’t actually identify any can you?

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1

            There’s this one.
            And this one.

            • alwyn 8.1.1.1.1.1

              There is not a single word that is false in the first comment.

              The only bit in the second is “I suppose someone might have given a little”
              I checked later and my supposition (not a statement of fact) was wrong. They apparently raised about $385,000 before they hit on the MPs for the remaining $435,000.

              Is that the best you can manage?

      • Murray Simmonds 8.1.2

        I enjoy reading sensible comment and pertinent debate on important issues but I’m really getting rather sick and tired of that inane, lame duck comment every time someone utters a truth that’s too close to the mark for alwyn’s liking.

        Why not just go away, alwyn? I don’t think anyone here will miss you.

        • alwyn 8.1.2.1

          Don’t read them if you don’t like what I say.
          There is no law that says you have to read my comments.
          On the other hand perhaps you think I should be silenced because I say things that disagree with your possibly warped view of the world. Could it be that you are disturbed by me uttering a truth that is too close to the mark for your liking?
          Tough.

        • Wensleydale 8.1.2.2

          Stop giving him oxygen. He’s the internet forum equivalent of an excitable Jack Russell that won’t quit yapping. If you ignore him, he’ll likely get bored. I know it’s infuriating when someone habitually skews the truth, distracts and deflects in order to derail discussions and confuse the issues, but I suspect, like most trolls, he thrives on the attention. Don’t give him any.

  9. ankerawshark 9

    Poor old John eh? Having to pay his own legal fees! How about we start a give a little page for him? (NOT). Maybe the trolls could do this……………….

  10. mary_a 10

    Because he is a two faced, lying, perverted, thieving git!

  11. Observer (Tokoroa) 11

    .

    Hi Alwyn

    So kind of you to suggest I make a drink of tea. Will you keep up your routine of sayIng to yourself: “Alwyn I must not tell lies” – three times every hour ?

    But just between you and me, do you get paid by John Key and Billy English for making lies up?

    Or are you just an unpaid fool?

    Regards from Tokoroa

    • alwyn 11.1

      At least I am smart enough to have worked out what the “reply” symbol is there for.
      Can’t you learn even that? Are you really that much of a fool?

      • Trey 11.1.1

        Answer the question. Are you paid to troll this site?

        • alwyn 11.1.1.1

          Don’t be silly. I am neither paid nor a troll.
          I do it from a simple desire to try and educate the ignorant.
          When it comes to Economics there are an amazing number in that category who I try and enlighten, aren’t there?
          Quite a lot of bigots as well.

          • Murray Simmonds 11.1.1.1.1

            alwyn : ” . . . .I do it from a simple desire to try and educate the ignorant.”

            That is possibly the most IGNORANT comment i have EVER read on this website.

            Alwyn, please open a free school – i dunno – anywhere really*, and then we can see how many enrolments you get. You know, enrolments that are attributable to your superior skills as an educator and to the market forces that you no doubt so fervently believe in . . . .

            * for starters i”d suggest perhaps in outer Mongolia – or better still at the bottom of the Kermadec Trench.

            Even if your free school is in the middle of downtown Auckland my guess is that your enrolments would be pretty much zero, zilch, mei you, naatch or whatever.

            Good luck and please go away. You apparently have far too much time on your hands.

            • alwyn 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Now, now. Calm down. This really cannot be good for your blood pressure.
              I have, to another of your comments, told you that you really don’t have to read them if you don’t want to.
              Please stop doing so. I don’t want to read in the paper of someone whose head exploded because I said something he couldn’t understand.
              If it bothers you have you considered the simplest solution? Why don’t you go away?

              • Muttonbird

                You are a sorry little person, aren’t you? Grow up for your family’s sake, at least.

                • alwyn

                  There, there. Are you also upset when people say things that you are incapable of understanding?
                  Now just breath deeply and relax. In… Out… In… Out…

                  • Muttonbird

                    Ha. You’ve exhausted yourself there buddy. Time for bed you funny little oink. It’s flag day tomorrow, your leader’s greatest day.

      • Johan 11.1.2

        Why put yourself in a position to be banned, again?

  12. Anne 12

    Has the media been chasing after NZ Taxpayers Union boss, Jordan Williams to ask how they feel about the taxpayers paying John Key’s personal legal fees?

  13. Observer (Tokoroa) 13

    To: Anne

    What the Trolls, Alwyn and others overlook is that John Key deliberately attempted to steal money from us tax payers. He was trying to blatantly steal our money.

    Just as Bill English was trying to get his houses subsidized by we tax payers.

    Now large scale theft appears not to be a problem for National politicians and their devotees.

    John Key also pushed Her Majesty’s Police Force into defaming and wrongly accusing an innocent man. Again that is not a problem to National and their devotees.

    So the added cost of the Police was lumped on to us tax payers.

    We object to that theft. And we despise National and its Trolls. Constant vigilance is our only way of stopping Key and English screwing us. They are here only to screw and screw us over.

    • Chuck 13.1

      Observer you are one paranoid fella! If I had to pick from your little list of items above it would be this one…”John Key also pushed Her Majesty’s Police Force into defaming…” Ambrose’s statement admits he accepts Key had a genuine belief that the recording was done on purpose. Like wise, Key accepts Ambrose did not do it on purpose. It speaks volumes that Ambrose settled, remember he was the plaintiff and could brush away any and all offers from Key.

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 13.1.1

        Okay Chuck

        You don’t like me pointing out John Key’s attempt to steal money rather than pay his own Defamation costs.

        You don’t like me pointing out that John Key attempted full scale theft. You don’t like me pointing out that John Key dramatised his defamation by saying that it was equivalent to media using texts of dead persons in the UK.

        The Police entry into the Teapot Drama was based on very shaky non substantiated evidence. Key’s caterwauling was monstrous.

        Have the Police investigated John Key’s interception of little girls Chuck? If not why not?

        He is an unsavoury would be thief at the ready. Please point out to me my paranoia? You have lapses of integrity often Chuck?

        • Anne 13.1.1.1

          Don’t bother with them Observer…

          These “trolls” are not worth the time and effort trying to educate them.

          They are ignorant beyond belief.
          I suspect some (including Chuck) are emotionally unstable.
          Many are lacking any form of intellect (as evidenced by their inability to write a complete and grammatically correct sentence – let alone their appalling spelling) so its impossible to rationalise anything with them.

          And the rest are unpleasant, red-necked ‘plebeians’ who should be ignored at all times.

          • Murray Simmonds 13.1.1.1.1

            Urrk – yep, after re-reading my comments to alwyn above i think this is a much better way to say it, thank you Anne.

            its just that sometimes exasperation gets the better of me . . .

          • Observer (Tokoroa) 13.1.1.1.2

            .
            Hello Anne
            .
            Your advice is good. I have to agree that the march of the Trolls is a bit like the opening of the doors of Bedlam. The release of the not quite sane.

            Mr Key is a strange unpredictable being with an unusual and unsavoury mind set. The trolls are caught up in his weirdness. The same way birds of a feather flock together.

            Enjoy the Easter Break – Anne.

        • Chuck 13.1.1.2

          I have no issue with letting you point out anything you like Observer real or imaginary. If I agree or not is a different story…

          As Anne very nicely says above I am emotionally unstable, so I better go and ask my nurse for more of those nice blue pills!!

          • Anne 13.1.1.2.1

            Yes, that was a bit uncalled for – tossing you in with the crackpot rwnjs. I apologise. Try being a little less deliberately provocative with your comments and it will be less likely to happen.

  14. An example of how the world works:

    https://networkonnet.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/part-2-rangiora-is-about-the-schools-assets-in-which-i-set-out-to-nail-peter-hughes/

    “Peggy Burrows says: “Who was it who said today, ” I was present in my role as the Leader of the National Party not the Prime Miniser, so the Natonal Party will pay the settlement.” Isn’t he a multi-millionnaire???

    Well I was in present in my role as Principal of Rangiora High School … But I have to pay my own legal fees. There will be no deal!! There will be no silence!! The truth will set us free … “On the balance of probability” – what rubbish!!

    He who has the deepest pockets wins – and I don’t have access to the public purse, the gravy train or the public trough!!”

    • ianmac 14.1

      Excuse my reposting this but…
      For those who have an interest in the strange happenings at Rangiora High School, the Listener has a detailed post. Did the Ministry go through all this to get their hands on the millions held by the 100 year old investment Held by Rangiora High? How can they do all this to a successful school, lead by an industrious hard working Principal.
      “For Peggy Burrows, that pathway has been cut abruptly short. With lawyer Richard ­Harrison (who represented Christchurch Girls’ High School principal Prue Taylor when she was sacked in 2012), Burrows will challenge her dismissal.”
      http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/education/school-daze/

    • ianmac 14.2

      Thanks for the link repateet. I do hope this blows up on the Ministry of Ed and on Parata.

  15. Phineas 15

    Dissolve councils in Canterbury dissolve school boards in Rangiora.
    Business as usual they might as well set up nationwide Provincial Governors and call John an Emperor

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    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    3 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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? ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours 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
    21 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
    21 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
    22 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
    23 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    3 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
    6 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
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    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
    7 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
    1 week 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
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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