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Why Is John Key Not Compelled to Give Evidence Under Oath?

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, September 1st, 2014 - 75 comments
Categories: accountability, election 2014, john key, Politics, Spying - Tags: , ,

I have today sent an open letter to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to ask why Mr Key is not required to attend her inquiry and to give evidence under oath.  The letter is attached.

Dear Inspector-General,

I was delighted to learn of your decision to hold an inquiry under the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 into the circumstances surrounding the release to the Whale Oil blog in 2011 of a confidential SIS briefing provided to the then Leader of the Opposition. I applaud not only your decision but also the fact that you are to conduct the inquiry without delay.

There is, after all, no issue of greater importance in a democracy than that the intelligence and security services should serve the interests of the country as a whole and should not be subverted for the partisan political purposes of the party that happens to be in government. As a fellow-lawyer, I am confident that your powers under the Act will allow you to provide answers to the hugely important questions that arise.

I understand that you have required the attendance on 11 September of a number of those involved. You will no doubt want to hear evidence on a range of issues. How did the SIS reach its decision to release the information in response to this particular request when others had been turned down? Why was it released in such an abnormally short time? Was the Prime Minister’s office consulted about such a politically sensitive matter? How did the Director of the SIS feel that he was able to take such a decision without such consultation? When did the Mr Key learn of the request and of the SIS response?

Those required to attend include, I understand, members of the Prime Minister’s office. This is, of course, as it should be; Mr Key is the minister responsible for the intelligence and security services and there is a good deal of prima facie evidence that members of his staff were involved with the blogger, Cameron Slater, in respect of the issue. There has also been a good deal of public interest in the extent to which Mr Key was aware of what was happening.

Mr Key has focused particularly in his public statements on the issue of when and how he was informed, after the event, that the release had taken place. He has indicated his willingness to answer questions under oath and to confirm his repeated assertion that he was not informed personally of the release by the Director of the SIS, after it had occurred, and did not become aware of it until well after the event.

Mr Key’s focus on that question, however, is in danger of diverting attention from the much more important issue of whether the release was, or even could have been, made without Mr Key being consulted and without his approval, either explicit or implicit. Mr Key has made no comment on that issue. It is that question that, above all others, must be answered by your inquiry; a failure to address it directly would be widely regarded as an attempt to protect Mr Key.

Mr Key, after all, is on the face of it as likely to be involved and able to throw light on the issues as any others of those called to attend. His willingness to give evidence under oath should surely be tested; he should be asked directly when and how he became aware of the release or even of its mere possibility. Mr Key, after all, enjoys no special legal or constitutional position that would protect him from answering questions like anyone else.

The quite separate inquiry that Mr Key will announce later this week into the matters that led to Judith Collins’ resignation as Minister for Justice seems unlikely to throw any light on the wider issues, including the matters of particular concern to you. Your powers under s.23 of the Act to compel attendance and to take evidence under oath, on the other hand, make it possible for you to reach a comprehensive answer to those matters, including the extent of Mr Key’s involvement. That cannot, however, be achieved if Mr Key is to be sheltered from questioning by a failure on your part to require him to attend. I am sure I speak for many New Zealanders in believing that that would be a missed opportunity of the greatest significance and would detract fatally from the value of your inquiry.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Bryan Gould

75 comments on “Why Is John Key Not Compelled to Give Evidence Under Oath?”

  1. Ffloyd 1

    Is this to be a Clayton’s enquiry? It has all the hallmarks of going through the motions without addressing in detail all the elements of what actually happened, and questioning ALL people involved, the MOST IMPORTANT being the pm. Why does he not have to front up? Why does she not just say ‘the prime minister has already done a thorough investigation of himself and established that he was absolutely correct in what he has said so I will not need to question him further.’ What a crock‼ What is it going to take to get rid of ratkey and all his fellow rats. NZ has never been in such turmoil and still key runs around the country looking like an idiot looking for a village.

  2. Peter 2

    Bryan Gould & Nicky Hager for New Years Honours!

  3. disturbed 3

    Thank Mr Gould as a Lawyer for speaking for us moral NZ souls on the matter of justice Bryan.

    To often honesty is avoided when a free hand is given in any enquiry.

    Of course we would hope that Mr Key directly consults with the other Political leaders whilst making terms of reference of this enquiry, and that it is left open for “other matters” to be pursued following the initial enquiry is made on the 11th September 2014.

    Finally I agree with Sir Jeffery Palmer and Mai Chen on RNZ this morning when they recommended that a full fully independent Royal Commission is also set up to deal with the vast amount of corruption alleged in documents currently appearing daily.

    A retired UK or Canadian Judge should be also heading this enquiry, to show complete impartiality ,, as it is now anyone headed any Government enquiry can be removed at will by the Government in power.

  4. Tracey 4

    So much for one law for everyone, and no one is above the law, right John Key

  5. Kiwiri 5

    Thank you very much, Bryan.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    …the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is Cheryl Gwyn who, up until April 2014, was the Deputy Solicitor-General at Crown Law, the very same Government agency which cleared Warren Tucker’s release of Phil Goff’s briefing notes. Bunji.

    She’s going to stand herself down from the Inquiry, right? Right??

  7. fambo 7

    So many fish have been pooing in the water that it has hard to find a place where the water is clean.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Great letter I can imagine the response . “Thank you for your letter your views have been noted”.

    • Anne 8.1

      It’s more likely to be:

      I have taken your request that I include the Prime Minister into serious consideration, but have concluded that my intention to question the staff of the Prime Minister’s office will be sufficient for me to arrive at an acceptable resolution.

      Translated into the language of the proletariate:

      Piss off…. I have no intention of dragging the PM into it. He appointed me for God’s sake. Geez, whada ya take me for – a martyr?

      Edit: clears throat -tongue in cheek.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        by Prime Minister I assume you mean Prime Minister’s Office and I have already subpoened that

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    Thank you for writing this letter on our behalf , Bryan. If you get a different response from the one Craig Glen Eden suggests please do let us all know.

  10. disturbed 10

    “…the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is Cheryl Gwyn who, up until April 2014, was the Deputy Solicitor-General at Crown Law, the very same Government agency which cleared Warren Tucker’s release of Phil Goff’s briefing notes.”

    Like all the other bought civic servants under this corrupt government they will get away with it until someone blows the whistle on them all.

    With all the dirt they used to silence every one of them, & and stood on them, and as soon as the level of hurt reaches the critical point it will backfire, and come around to bite them .

    • Tracey 10.1

      Turns out back then when tucker had a discussion with goff, he actually talked to him but in 2011 when he had a discussion with the prime minister he was actually talking to a staffer. I presume he will name the staffer, cos he will remember that ormade a note?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      Don’t assume too much, she apparently has a history of left wing activism.

      • yeshe 10.2.1

        then she should be smart enough to recuse herself. unless of course she was away on holiday at the time ?

  11. Mike 11

    If the PM’s office staff are to be questioned on oath and the PM is not then his staff will have pressure to “perform”. For the integrity of our system and to stop this taking our country to any any lower level than it currently is there needs to be transparency. Everything so far done by John Key has been to mock standards set up by many before. This arrogance and seemingly lack of any accountability has already been the catalyst to release information – the spin unwinds faster than the responses to counter. It is sad that we have to go through this – but the public need to know what has been going on in their name

    • Tracey 11.1

      Given the PM doesnt think employee privacy is important he can name the person Tucker talked to that wasnt the PM? Simple.

  12. Tony 12

    The $lime Minister is slipping away from any opportunity to shine a light on his activities, I trust his blind arrogance will be put to the legal test.

  13. dave 13

    Sounds like slippery is going to try get off with they just can’t help themselves we the people don’t want fake inquiry we want a royal commission into the whole affair not a rubber stamp cover up job like we aways see from the national party
    John key is compromised here he needs to step down as pm and prime ministers office sealed as a crime scene until after the election a new government needs to deal with this not the key-gang

  14. Brian,

    I fear the answer may lie in the legislation. Under the functions of the Inspector General (s.11(3)), we’re told that:

    “In carrying out any inquiry in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1)(ca), it shall not be a function of the Inspector-General to inquire into any action taken by the Minister.”

    In the Inspector General’s press release announcing the inquiry, she stated:

    “The Inspector-General has decided to institute the inquiry under her own motion powers pursuant to sections 11(1)(a) and (ca) of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 rather than in response to a specific complaint.”

    So, I don’t think that she can look at the “propriety” of Key’s actions here … because the legislation tells her that she can’t.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Is there any effective oversight of the corrupt Prime Minister?

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        The Queen or Governor-General appoints and dismisses members of the Executive Council and Ministers of the Crown. Those powers are part of the common law. They exist independently of statutes, although statutes can, of course, limit or even supersede them.

    • Tracey 14.2

      As long as it is made clear that she cant rather than she doesnt see any reason to.

      Andrew

      What about the powers of the Governor General

    • Hanswurst 14.4

      Even so, shouldn’t it still be possible to require the PM to give evidence as a party to the actions of others? That said, I imagine that, in order to avoid the appearance of politicising the enquiry, she should avoid taking that step unless the documented evidence and testimony of his staff etc. leave questions that could be answered by speaking to Key directly.

  15. alwyn 15

    Perhaps we must accept that a previous PM set the standard in these matters.
    Most people contributing to this blog probably accepted the claims of an earlier holder of his office who proclaimed the Prime Minister as being above all petty laws.
    Do you remember this?

    “By definition, I cannot leak.”

    So said former prime minister Helen Clark, defending herself against claims that she was the source behind Doonegate, the story about the fall from grace of former police chief Peter Doone after his vehicle was stopped at an alcohol checkpoint.

    Now who has just decided she was completely wrong and was a disgrace in the role?

    • Tracey 15.1

      are you saying you thought it was fine?

      • alwyn 15.1.1

        No of course not. I thought her arrogance was disgraceful. It was, unfortunately, fairly typical of her. All that really happened later in her term was that she got people like Mallard to make the more outrageous statements for her.
        On the other hand you quote, immediately below this, that Key “was happy to front up.” He wasn’t required to was he? I’m sure Helen would never have volunteered.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1

          Happy to front up to an inquiry that is forbidden by law to investigate him.

          Hollow promises are hollow. Oh, sorry, were you taken in by them?

          • Kiwiri 15.1.1.1.1

            Gawd. Does it get any worse?

            Clarification required from someone who has been following the issues closely please:

            Will SIS be investigating into matters that SIS itself had been involved or implicated with?

        • Anne 15.1.1.2

          You didn’t know Helen Clark did you alwyn. I did. You call her arrogance disgraceful. You lie. She had a vastly superior persona than JK and acted with the utmost integrity at all times.

          Stop trying to transfer Key’s arrogance, dishonesty and lack of integrity on to the shoulders of his predecessor. There are many people out there who regret they voted for John Key in 2008 and 2011, and wish that Helen Clark was still running the country.

          And don’t do a Cameron Slater (and others) and misrepresent some words or an action of hers to make it look like she was… as you falsely claim.

          • yeshe 15.1.1.2.1

            She is trolling Anne … just taking oxygen … +100 on Helen.

            • Anne 15.1.1.2.1.1

              I know yeshe. But every now and again I get some pleasure out of putting ‘him’ down. Suspect this troll is actually a he…

              • alwyn

                Very good Anne.
                “Suspect this troll is actually a he…”

                If you read, or remembered earlier comments I have made you would have KNOWN that I am male. For example

                Rachel who?

                Why do people assume my name is only that of a female?

                On the other hand I never cease to be amazed that the hagiography about Helen Clark continues.

                • Because she was without doubt one of the best, if not he best PM since Peter Fraser. That why the UN accepted her. One thing for sure Helen would never have got so low as the pretender we have now.

          • disturbed 15.1.1.2.2

            Helen was a straight up PM not like this shyster Alwyn is twisted.

        • lprent 15.1.1.3

          Do you remember this?

          “By definition, I cannot leak.”

          Yes i do and ah.. the usual familar foul stench of the out of context right wing myth making…

          She was referring to the legal position of her office at the top of the security appartus rather than what she actually did.

          If you dig back into the actual context rather than the lying myth that Brash and the hollow men made up, she didn’t leak any security related information. In fact she and her staff gave out incorrect information because she couldn’t say what she knew or didn’t know.

          But John Key and Brash were busy lying to create another rightwing fantasy back in 2005.

          Perhaps you should look up what actually happened and contrast it with the release of real security information to a sociopathic attack blogger for hire?

          • Tracey 15.1.1.3.1

            the “labour do it too” defence from Alwyn.

            I’m sure that is how he/she has brought up his/her kids too. No wonder we’re so morally bankrupt

        • tricledrown 15.1.1.4

          Alwyn just putting oil on the fire as John Armstrong says!

        • Tracey 15.1.1.5

          he said he would answer questions that journalists forgot to ask. he campaigned on higher standards than Ms Clark had exhibited. But he’s not happy to front up.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      So, you’re saying Key is guilty and should go. I want to know how Cameron Slater and Judith Collins knew about Goff’s SIS briefing before the public information release.

      Play the moral equivalence card. That always works 😆

  16. Tracey 16

    can we bring in national standards to cabinet and their staff? reading comprehension doesnt seem to be a strength

    ” On the campaign trail today Key said in response to questions that he understood he had been summoned along with staff in his office and was happy to front up.

    But in a statement issued later his spokeswoman said there was no indication in a letter from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security that he would have to appear personally.

  17. Tracey 17

    even the pm is confused between himself and his office

    ” Prime Minister John Key has confirmed he has received a subpoena to appear before the Inspector General of Security and Intelligence for a closed hearing nine days before the election. Mr Key said he was not surprised as he had expected Inspector General Cheryl Gwynn to do a thorough inquiry. , “

    • Hanswurst 17.1

      Just because he received it doesn’t mean that it was subpoenaing him. He could have received it on behalf of his staff, or as a copy, or had it handed to him by someone from his staff who had been served with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no defender of Key, but your quote above can be resolved by fairly obvious semantics, rather than somewhat contorted appeals to conventions or the vagaries of legal persons.

      • North 17.1.1

        Yes, well there is this slight confusion about the personal pronoun Hans. Not yours or mine. Mr ‘My Office’ needs to get it together.

        • Hanswurst 17.1.1.1

          That’s obvious, it’s just that the quote above doesn’t add anything to that.

          • Tracey 17.1.1.1.1

            It shows that a week after we had the debacle of what you mean by “me” he still isn’t being clear. So pardon me if I think it does add something to that point and used sarcasm to highlight it.

  18. Treetop 18

    Key has no respect when it comes to being held accountable for the ministerial warrants he holds. He is either incompetent or worried about being exposed.

  19. Granted 19

    So based on what I am reading….Key can not be brought to account? I guess in some aspects that’s similar to the situation where the Auckland Mayor could not be effectively dealt with either?

    It all seems that once any person is in such a role they can just stay there until the next election……

  20. Frida 20

    You can all rest assured that Cheryl Gwyn is no ‘hollow woman’ and is definitely NOT aligned with the right. She is also widely regarded in the legal profession as someone incredibly talented and hardworking whose sense of independence and fairness has few peers. I feel heartened she will do a thorough and fair and completely independent investigation

    • Anne 20.1

      I hope you are right Frida. But given John Key appointed her, I’m not fully convinced.

      In light of what you say, the one hope I have is that JK never envisaged that a situation like this would arise when he appointed her.

      • Kiwiri 20.1.1

        I am very sorry but the inquiry – with the way and the speed it has been set up, the lack of bi/multi-partisan consultation, as well as the timing given polling booths will be open in less than 41 hours (Gwyn’s press release update on the IGIS inquiry was at 5:05pm today) – smells, looks and conveys the perception like it is the government of the day instigating it for its own political purposes and convenience.

        As citizens of this country, we must regretfully decline to accept the legitimacy of this inquiry.

    • disturbed 20.2

      She signed the OIA for Slater! Freda!!!!

      the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is Cheryl Gwyn who, up until April 2014, was the Deputy Solicitor-General at Crown Law, the very same Government agency which cleared Warren Tucker’s release of Phil Goff’s briefing notes.”

    • Tracey 20.3

      Thanks for this. I hope you are right. Ms Collins got to high levels of the law society so I remain sceptical until we see the pudding.

      • Frida 20.3.1

        True, Tracey, but unlike Cheryl Gwyn, Judith Collins is not, and never was, held in very high regard by the legal profession!

  21. Richard Christie 21

    Good letter, but where does it ask “why Mr Key is not required to attend her inquiry and to give evidence under oath. ” ?

    Reads more like Bryan Gould is supplying an opinion.
    My apologies if I’ve missed something.

  22. Manuka 22

    We need a truly independent commission against corruption.

    eg: http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/

  23. North 23

    Heard Key on the 5.00 pm RNZ News.

    An offensive demeanour, a smartarse resort to the vernacular in the nature of ‘it ain’t gonna happen’ (re observance of customary conventions applicable in the present ‘enquiry’ imbroglio), that cannot leave but the slightest doubt that Key, now hissing, has decided he will go to war with New Zealanders’ democractic birthright, in defence of corruption. Dirty old corruption.

    As in respect of Collins, whom amongst us would raise our kids to behave like John Key ? The man who will go down in New Zealand history as a moral, constitutional, political, wide boy. That’ll be the informal rep’. Who knows about the formal one ?

    We do know that even if the truth does not out before the gloating celebrity of ‘Sir John’…….the truth will out.

    • North 23.1

      Trouble with computer – somehow this observation fell out – ‘Meanwhile Cunliffe’s looking more and more prime ministerial’. Excellent !

  24. disturbed 24

    Yesterday DC was calling for a royal commission.

    Today Key is minimal damage control. Narrow ToR Gov’t Q+A

    Can’t we have opposition now rush in a case for Royal Commission with wide ToR “in the public interests of fear of Civic corruption” and crime Act under Section 116 & 105 as Penny Bright has just laid charges against Collins today?

    Penny Bright
    1 September 2014 at 8:27 pm

    FYI today I have emailed the Auckland District Commander, Michael Clement, making a formal complaint to Police against former Minister of Justice Judith Collins for alleged violations of s. 116 and s. 105 of the NZ Crimes Act 1961.

    The evidence upon which I am relying to support this complaint is the same evidence upon which Prime Minister John Key was purportedly relying to remove Judith Collins from her Ministerial responsibilities.

    Penny Bright

  25. aj 25

    From Interest.co.nz

    “A Stuff video from February also emerged showing Key saying he rang Cameron Slater to discuss Slater’s report that Winston Peters had visited Kim Dotcom’s mansion and that he talks to him “about lots of political events.”
    Key had been asked if he had used the SIS or GCSB to spy on Peters, which he denied.
    Key was questioned about whether Slater had told him about the visits. Key would not confirm Slater as the source, but confirmed he regularly talked to Slater.
    “I rang him. He’s a blog site. He writes a lot of stuff. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it. I speak to lots of blogsters,” Key told reporters on February 14″

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/lightbox/national/politics/9723185/PMs-Whaleoil-friends?KeepThis=true

    Appropriate song..

    • Tracey 25.1

      and no one thought to ask him which other blogsters he talks to, or is Farrar and Slater “lots of blogsters”

  26. Sable 26

    Good on you but what are the odds the they never respond. This government and its mechanisms are a law unto themselves and do as they like.

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    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    24 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    7 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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