139 thoughts on “General debate, August 11, 2013

  1. Opposition MP, Stephen Joyce was found amongst the protestors, he looked a little uncomfortable and admitted it was his first protest. Despite the Greens remaining high in the polls he insisted that they had no idea how to govern. “All this consultation and listening to expert advice is a nonsense and just shows how weak they are,” he claimed. “A National Government provides true leadership, we are natural rulers, just ask Hollywood or any oil company and they will tell you that we were the best government that they had ever dealt with.”

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/30-protest-outside-2019-green-conference.html

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  2. Has anyone else noticed that the changes National has made to housing policy all revolve around pumping more money INTO that overheated, inflated bubble, and taking money from the poorest people able to think about getting into it, in order to do that?

    What a bunch of Wankers!

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  3. BJ,

    Be interesting to see a carbon footprint of a wooden, single use eating utensil versus a stainless equivalent.

    We are using cutlery well over 50 years old and still good despite having been used a gazillion times.

    And totally able to be recycled into plow-shears if required.

    Sometimes I think the image these type of companies present is a lie as the carbon footprint is much larger (especially if taken over the time frame of a stainless steel utensils usefulness) then they promote.

    Wooden utensils as manufacture by these people cannot be washed or recycled (except by burning or composting) into anything useful. Do we know what chemicals (natural or synthetic) that are used as a binder to “glue” the wood fibers into a hard and durable substance?

    Sure they are promoting it as a better alternative to plastic, single use utensils, but would it not be better to promote stainless over plastic rather then wood over plastic?

    If we look at the following statistic

    China uses 20 million trees each year to feed the country’s disposable chopstick habit,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/03/14/chinas-disposable-chopstick-addiction-is-destroying-its-forests/

    that a Green initiative to replace wooden chopsticks (and by extension the wooden single use utensils so proudly promoted by yours truly) with multi use stainless ones would be closer to being a proper green solution for the long term.

    Especially as all those millions of mature trees left standing would be an incredible carbon sink for the blast furnaces making stainless steel for our culinary utensils.

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  4. I agree Gerrit, that reusable cutlery is by far the best option and I take the point about the wasteful use of chopsticks – but I think this is more about the takeaway situation where you get a plastic fork or spoon. (I always wash and reuse these anyway.) I don’t think your local curry place will hand over stainless steel.

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  5. Gerrit – Despite the fact that I am VERY likely to simply carry around a spoon, jackknife and fork in the bottom of my bag for contingencies, the plastic disposable things are a glut in the supermarket aisles. Which makes it likely that the wood compared to the plastic is a winner… for those folks as have no notion of how to clean.

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  6. Fonterra – too large a part of the NZ economy to be allowed to operate as a private company?

    (Not a question of competence, but one of responsibility)

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  7. One aspect of National’s housing announcements is that the income threshold of $80,000 per individual will mean those between the top quarter and top sixth of earners will qualify…..or put another way, the top sixth will not… makes me wonder who will actually gain.

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  8. I don’t think your local curry place will hand over stainless steel.

    No but it is not that difficults to be self responsible and caring for the environment by carrying your own stainless steel eating utensils with you.

    Have mine in my lunch chilly bag that lives in the car. Two sets. Easy peasy and so green.

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  9. I pretty much do the same… but if I am not careful I wind up with the plastic anyway :-)

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  10. That’s true (and good on you) but most people don’t. Whether plastic or wood, I suspect there will always be perceived need for cheap utensils. Unfortunately.

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  11. Wow. Watching the PM dodge questions on the GCSB bill on TV3 was enlightening.
    That guy makes used car salesmen look like saints.

    Monumental arrogance and douchebaggery on display for all to see. I hope every one in the country watches the segment.

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  12. Gregor W says “Wow. Watching the PM dodge questions on the GCSB bill on TV3 was enlightening.”

    I think the PMs response was to do with recent polling that was done on the subject.

    As mentioned on National Radio today, the poll showed concern over snapper quotas was huge compared to the minimal concern over the GCSB bill.

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  13. Photonz1 – I think that discrepancy can be easily put down to the complexity and tangibili of the issues at stake.

    In the same way, if the government hypothetically legislated against beer tomorrow, it would dominate the headlines. Erosion of basic rights to privacy and the denial of civil society does not.

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  14. Actually no, the PM clearly wanted to, and obviously was only partially successful (only his sycophantic fans are taken in) at, sidetracking the questioner.

    He was extremely insistent that he would NOT answer the question put to him, if you watch it, this is an obvious and transparent (to me) effort on his part. I’d have hammered him with the question a couple of more times. He will not answer questions on the bill, he is not being honest about the bill, he has no interest in what New Zealanders actually think about the bill….

    …and he may well be correct about what “most” New Zealanders think is more important THAN the fact that they are being led into a time machine set for 1984.

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  15. …and I see in the news today that the gnatwits have asserted that

    “the companies’ ability to raise capital.”

    …is more important to New Zealand than clean waterways.

    There really is nothing left to say about them.

    If they intended to bankrupt, subvert, corrupt and wreck this nation they could not do a better job of it.

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  16. How could anyone bar photonz1, Ele Ludmann and Tony Stewart, be taken in by that performance?
    You’d have to be entirely blinded by sychophancy not to see what Key is doing there.
    Photonz1 – are you entirely blind?
    Can you not catch just a tiny glimmer of light through your all-but-glued-down eyelids?
    I simply can’t believe that you could see that performance for anything other than what it is.

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  17. greenfly – to be taken in by it, first you’d have to actually care about the GSCB bill,

    Like most people, I don’t.

    That’s why the snapper quota is far more important to far more people than the GSCB bill.

    Effectively, it comes down to one thing – what people prefer –

    Snapper or red herring.

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  18. Snapper quota options and the GCSB Bill are related issues and people need to decide if they prefer fishing to freedom of expression. Quack.

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  19. solkta makes up a statement no one had made, then argues with it.

    Solkta – you’re getting off by selfdebating

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  20. photonz1

    greenfly – to be taken in by it, first you’d have to actually care about the GSCB bill,

    Like most people, I don’t.

    Got some statistics to show most New Zealanders don’t care about the GCSB bill photonz1? Or are you, like the Prime Minister, just talking rubbish?

    That’s why the snapper quota is far more important to far more people than the GSCB bill.

    However, around 2000 to 5000 people attended a protest against the GCSB bill in Auckland recently. Around 800 1200 attended the largest meeting concerning the government proposing to cut snapper quotas. Although there were many similar protests and meetings around the country, that would indicate that the GCSB issue is more important to more New Zealanders than the snapper issue.

    However, that’s beside the point. National isn’t listening to the public no matter the issue or numbers opposing their destructive policy proposals. They simply don’t care about democracy.

    As an obviously intelligent person photonz1, it seems strange that you would try to defend the idiot Key sidestepping an important issue that many Kiwis are concerned with. Surely we the public deserve answers and a higher level of accountability from our leaders than that currently being displayed?

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  21. Jackal asks “Got some statistics to show most New Zealanders don’t care about the GCSB bill photonz1? Or are you, like the Prime Minister, just talking rubbish?”

    it was political polling that had been done around issues and was discussed on the radio yesterday, and those concerned about snapper quiota way outnumbered those concerned about the GCSB bill.

    That’s probably because 99.999% of the population will never have any negative consequences from the GCSB Bill.

    Just like when you take out all those people who oppose the bill because they falsely believe it means everyone’s communications can be spied on, there’s not so many left.

    When they realise that first the GCSB has to convince both the commissioner and the minister that the person is a threat to national security BEFORE they are spied on, most people wonder what all the fuss is about.

    And many of those left are blinkered professional complainers who simply complain because National is doing something – not on the merits of the bill.

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  22. sprout – talk about stupid.

    You’re desperately trying to blame National Standards for results in level three NCEA, when all of those students are years too old to have ever been through the National Standards system.

    It just shows how dishonest you are, prepared to make up complete nonsense to push your propaganda.

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  23. “to be taken in by it, first you’d have to actually care about the GSCB bill,

    Like most people, I don’t.”

    Really? You are very concerned about so many other issues and have opinions on almost everything, but not the GCSB bill?

    Not believable. Your claim is not truthful. You are bullshitting.
    Key wants to make out that no one cares and so do you.
    Transparent and feeble, photonz1 – your claim and you both.

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  24. Photonz, some of those issues I identified have been ongoing problems and not just the cause of National Standards. However National Standards will only make things even worse. The implementation of the new curriculum, if done as intended, would have addressed many of the concerns that I identified. National Standards has stopped this from happening!

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  25. greenfly says “Really? You are very concerned about so many other issues and have opinions on almost everything, but not the GCSB bill?

    Not believable. Your claim is not truthful. You are bullshitting.”

    It doesn’t allow anything more than the police and SIS have been doing for decades – in fact there’s MORE safeguards on the GCSB Bill.

    Unlike the police and SIS, they need to show
    1/ there is a risk to national security
    2/ Convince the commissioner to issue a warrant.
    3/ Convince the minister to issue a warrant

    So to worry about it, I’d either have to be paranoid, or be misinformed on what the bill actually allows the GCSB to do.

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  26. photonz1 – it’s a bit disingenuous to compare the intelligence capability of the GCSB to that of the Police or SIS. Apples with oranges, I’m afraid.

    Secondly, because of the veil of secrecy, know one would be able to determine on what grounds warrants were issued. Under the proposed law, we would just have to trust the audit mechanisms – those same mechanisms that failed to protect NZ citizens under the current legislation.

    I would suggest you take a look at the submission from the Law Society regarding the flaws in the proposed legislation.

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  27. photonz1

    it was political polling that had been done around issues and was discussed on the radio yesterday, and those concerned about snapper quiota way outnumbered those concerned about the GCSB bill.

    So surely you could link to this political polling photonz1 if it actually exists? Who were the people discussing the issue and on what radio station?

    And many of those left are blinkered professional complainers who simply complain because National is doing something – not on the merits of the bill.

    National is changing the GCSB bill because the spying agency was acting illegally. There are no merits to such a retrospective law change accompanied by a complete lack of accountability for that illegal conduct.

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  28. Jackal asks

    Got some statistics to show most New Zealanders don’t care about the GCSB bill photonz1? Or are you, like the Prime Minister, just talking rubbish?

    There are Kiwis who care passionately about the GCSB bill, but they will be in the minority.

    One would assume that most of us here have a passing familiarity with the consensus of climate change (without wishing to reopen that debate), however only a small (and dropping!) percentage of Kiwis do, I posted the link to that data recently.

    You would have thought most people would put what some would call end-of-the-world climate change Armageddon ahead of the GCSB, even given that the GCSB bill is topical.

    But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter a jot. Why? Next post…

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  29. Gregor says “Under the proposed law, we would just have to trust the audit mechanisms”

    We ALWAYS just have to just trust the audit mechanisms.

    The other option is to simply stop surveillance of criminals.

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  30. As most folks should be aware, New Zealand is a partner is what was originally known as the UKUSA agreement, which basically means that the five eyes nations share intelligence information.

    A number of countries have, what from the perspective of those who wish to snoop, are “inconvenient” rules, for example the GCSB apparently can’t undertake warrantless intercept on the traffic of New Zealand citizens, and the Americans have a similar inconvenient restriction on the NSA undertaking warrantless intercept on the traffic of American citizens. But given the five eye countries share a single (no doubt, American designed) intelligence system, its very easy for another country to undertake the requested interception and for them to forward anything interesting. All without apparently violating local laws.

    So I’m convinced that any energy trying to strop or indeed fix the GCSB bill is wasted energy; at the end of the day, we are all being monitored all of the time, and short of hell freezing over, there’s not a damned thing we can do about it. Should Russel ever find himself as the PM, he’ll be inducted, and given “the talk”, and he’ll toe the line. If you get The Job, there is no blue pill option.

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  31. The same could be said of a number of issues – doesn’t mean we have to accept them. I think it comes down to picking your issues to spend energy on for individuals.

    For a party in parliament, especially in opposition, you can’t just shrug your shoulders and go for the ones that are doable – you have to at least articulate why these things are not acceptable.

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  32. We ALWAYS just have to just trust the audit mechanisms.

    photonz1 – the key difference being that the audit mechanisms for the Police and SIS are discoverable / challengeable via the Courts.

    Not so wrt the GCSB.

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  33. Gregor says “photonz1 – the key difference being that the audit mechanisms for the Police and SIS are discoverable / challengeable via the Courts”

    Only if they decide to let ANYBODY know what they were doing in the first place.

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  34. Hmmm. Pretty hard to avoid that when it gets to court though photonz1! (i.e. evidence process etc.)

    …assuming of course the powers that be don’t want to waste valuable tax dollars running about pursuing non-viable investigations :)

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  35. Gregor says “Hmmm. Pretty hard to avoid that when it gets to court though photonz1!”

    Not hard at all – they might not tell anyone in the first place.

    There’s plenty of evidence that’s never disclosed to defence lawyers in court cases, even when it should have been.

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  36. Only if they [SIS] decide to let ANYBODY know what they were doing in the first place.

    No, you can request a copy of your SIS file should you think there may be one. Keith Locke, for example, has a copy of his SIS file, but the GCSB will neither confirm nor deny whether they have spied on him.

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  37. There’s plenty of evidence that’s never disclosed to defence lawyers in court cases, even when it should have been.

    Quite possibly. But it can’t be used for evidential purposes.

    But GCSB evidence can be presented without disclosure and without scrutiny by the courts to assess its validity, collection method or legality.

    And there’s the rub.

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  38. Don’t know if you guys are aware, but recently two providers of secure email services, Lavabit and Silent Circle, have thrown in the towel. On both linked websites there is a statement.

    It really is 1984.

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  39. Gregor says “But GCSB evidence can be presented without disclosure and without scrutiny by the courts to assess its validity, collection method or legality.”

    And Kiwis should be really worried because our prisons are full of people who have been convicted with GCSB evidence,… er…. perhaps there lots,…. maybe a few,…… perhaps there’s one person in the last several years? Maybe a bit less than one.

    But the whole country should be worried that this might happen to them?

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  40. solkta says ..”but the GCSB will neither confirm nor deny whether they have spied on him.”

    Our of interest, did you realise the new GCSB Bill specifically prohibits any spying that harms the interests of any political party? (or furthers the interests of any political party).

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  41. Photonz, if you accept a surveillance society without parliamentary controls you are in exactly the same position as the inhabitants of Airstrip One.

    The only hopeful sign would be that the government has not turned on you…***

    You welcome it?

    Such a trusting soul. Warms the cockles of me heart (what the f**k is a cockle?).

    :-)

    ***Except this one has already.

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  42. Isn’t that sort of the point though, photonz1.

    Why on earth would we give such invasive powers that address no concrete threats, to an agency that generates no convictions and has a history of transgressing the law when it suits them?

    Doesn’t that seem like the very definition of ‘casus belli’? And if not to stop such existential threats, what will the agencies powers be used for?

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  43. Yep, I knew about it DBuckley, and it is scary.

    The larger providers are more vulnerable, as they can’t really just quit the same way, and the ability of someone like a Snowden (who used Lavabit) to communicate is curtailed again, and the society is increasingly subject to having the TV watching them.

    Some of my compatriots thought this was a GOOD sign, a sign of resistance, but it is actually a sign of defeat. Privacy is being stripped from the citizens of the USA, and this bill, with less reason, is being offered to strip privacy from the citizens of New Zealand.

    There IS a cure and that would be having parliamentary oversight rather than oversight through the PM’s office. It has the potential to be a reasonably good bill, pass it by acclamation if it were properly formed, but it won’t be because it isn’t.

    I can’t believe that the conservative factions are swallowing the BS so completely; I should. My understanding of native New Zealand naivete’ is improving… it is merely that my credulity that is stretched by this demonstration.

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  44. And Kiwis should be really worried because our prisons are full of people who have been convicted with GCSB evidence,… er…. perhaps there lots,…. maybe a few,…… perhaps there’s one person in the last several years? Maybe a bit less than one.

    But the whole country should be worried that this might happen to them?

    In another thread I wibbled on about how the populace as a whole has no idea about how to scale risk, and this is another example. Normally the populace’s bad estimates are because they have the data but don’t know what it means. As you have nicely demonstrated, we don’t even have the data available so that someone skilled in the art could make a reasonable estimation of the risk.

    Therefore you can do no better than make an assumption, which almost certainly will be wrong. Thus “the whole country should be worried that this might happen to them” is not an unreasonable assumption, and is an assumption that is almost certainly wrong, but one has no idea by how much. There is no metrics upon which a less (groping for word…) pessimistic estimate could possibly be made.

    I’m guessing here you have a different view. Your different view may well be correct. But there is no data to make your view any more or less likely correct than any other.

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  45. Gregor says “Why on earth would we give such invasive powers that address no concrete threats, to an agency that generates no convictions and has a history of transgressing the law when it suits them?”

    Because the other option is to give organised crime, child abuse rings, drug importers, industrial sabotagers, scammers etc – a free ride.

    The reason there’s no Kiwis in prison from GSCB spying, is because they’ve only looked into 80 Kiwis in nearly a decade, and that was helping other agencies.

    It’s absolutely nuts for the GCSB to have to stop surveilance on a criminal group – whether it’s a child abuse ring, drug ring, organised crime or whatever – just because there happens to be a Kiwi or NZ resident in part of the communications.

    Even more insane is the fact they are currently not allowed to pass on information they incidentally picked up about.

    As it stands, if they incidentally find out about New Zealanders abusing children for a pedophile ring, it is illegal for them to pass on that information to police.

    And you guys want to continue that – unbelievable.

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  46. Photon implies that the Greens protect pedophiles. You really are clutching at straws aren’t you.
    When you talk about pedophile rings, it makes me want to forgo a few freedoms to allow track’n’trace… of such scum. But do pedos threaten national security? Because photon, you’ve pointed out that it has be a national security threat for GCSB to spy.
    Why can’t a clear law be made along the lines of ‘anyone involved in kiddyf…g, can be spied on, tracked down and dealt to.’ Certainly no need for a national security threat.
    BTW, The local National party scrutineer, of many elections, won’t be scrutineering again (I’d assume) as he’s been busted for his major role in a large international pedo ring.

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  47. fin asks “Why can’t a clear law be made along the lines of ‘anyone involved in kiddyf…g, can be spied on, tracked down and dealt to.’ Certainly no need for a national security threat.”

    While they currently can’t do this, the new law would allow it as it is allows for the prevention and detection of serious criminal activity, (and for the prevention of loss of human life).

    The second part means they are also allowed to track information like smart phone locations for search and rescue operations at sea – something that is currently not legal.

    Fin says “Photon implies that the Greens protect pedophiles.”

    Under current law if the GCSB is carrying out surveillance on a child abuse ring, they have to stop if there’s a Kiwi involved in the communications. Furthermore, it is illegal for them to pass on that information to the police. Anybody who thinks that should continue IS protecting pedophiles.

    That’s what a blanket ban on the GCSB spying on Kiwis does.

    It’s just madness that if they are looking into ANY criminal group, they have to stop because one of the gang happens to be a NZ resident.

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  48. Under the current law it is part of the brief of the GCSB to carrying out surveillance on a child abuse syndicates. Quack.

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  49. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187828.html

    7 Objective of Bureau

    (1) The objective of the Bureau is to contribute to the national security of New Zealand by providing—

    (a) foreign intelligence that the Government of New Zealand requires to protect and advance—

    (i) the security or defence of New Zealand; or

    (ii) the international relations of the Government of New Zealand; or

    (iii) New Zealand’s international well-being or economic well-being; and

    (b) foreign intelligence to meet international obligations and commitments of the Government of New Zealand; and

    (c) advice, assistance, and protection to departments of State and other instruments of the Executive Government of New Zealand in order to—

    (i) protect and enhance the security of their communications, information systems, and computer systems; or

    (ii) protect their environments from electronic or other forms of technical surveillance by foreign organisations or foreign persons.

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a)(iii), the interests of New Zealand’s international well-being or economic well-being are relevant only to the extent that they are affected by the actions or intentions of foreign organisations or foreign persons.

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  50. Even more insane is the fact they are currently not allowed to pass on information they incidentally picked up about.

    More BS from photo.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187855.html

    25 Prevention or detection of serious crime

    Despite section 23, the Director, for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime in New Zealand or in any other country, may retain any information that comes into the possession of the Bureau and may communicate that information to employees of the New Zealand Police or to any other persons, and in any manner, that the Director thinks fit.

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  51. “(iii) New Zealand’s international well-being or economic well-being;”

    Surely they should be infiltrating Fonterra and checking their pipes?

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  52. Thanks Solkta. Photon, were you aware of the legislation that Solkta has pointed out? Although you come accross as knowing what you’re talking about, it appears that you don’t.

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  53. Solkta – perhaps you think pedophile rings are not serious crime, or children’s safety is not at risk.

    From the GCSB Act 2003

    “The Bureau may perform its functions only for the following purposes:

    (a) to pursue its objective:

    (b) to protect the safety of any person:

    (c) in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime.”

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  54. What are you trying to say now photon?
    Previously you stated that the GSCB couldn’t pass on info that related to pedos.
    Do you now see that you were wrong?

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  55. fin says “Previously you stated that the GSCB couldn’t pass on info that related to pedos.”

    Sorry – I was thinking of NZ pedohpile rings when I replied to your comment but didn’t add that. My mistake. I can see why that looked wrong.

    IF the ban on the GCSB spying on NZ residents is over-riden by section 25 allowing the Director to pass on information “to any other persons, and in any manner, that the Director thinks fit”.. “for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime in New Zealand or in any other country”…then there should be no reason why the GCSB can’t pass on the info about Dotcom.

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  56. photonz1 – the trouble is the threshold in NZ for ‘serious crime’ is very low; an offense punishable by up to two years in prison.

    Including for instance;

    Compelling indecent act with animal,
    Riotous damage,
    Aiding and abetting suicide,
    Assault with intent to injure,
    Use or disclosure of personal information disclosed in breach of section 105A (look out Paula Bennett)

    Interestingly, Dotcom’s alleged copyright infringments under NZ jurisdiction are a civil matter rather than a criminal one and thus would be exempt from investigation by the GCSB, unless some tortuous jurisdictional logic was applied (as has been attempted by the US DoJ).

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  57. …and it has not yet been established if Dotcom’s alleged copyright infringements are a criminal matter in the USA either.

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  58. The GCSB had obviously spied on Dotcom by accident, so it should have been able to pass on that information under section 25 of the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003. Quack.

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  59. (c) in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime.”

    I would assume that “in support” would refer to helping the Police (or SIS) in situations where investigations needed to extend offshore. It is not part of their brief to routinely spy on child abuse syndicates.

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  60. According to shonkey on Campbell Live tonight this section:

    8 Functions of Bureau

    2) The Bureau may perform its functions only for the following purposes:

    (c) in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime.

    was thought to override this section:

    14 Interceptions not to target domestic communications

    Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

    but i really can’t understand how “any action” can be interpreted in any other way than any action.

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  61. What is very clear though is that “in support” means when specifically requested to do so. The GCSB does not do routine criminal investigations. photo has been here talking through the wrong hole, as usual.

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  62. Gregor says ‘Interestingly, Dotcom’s alleged copyright infringments under NZ jurisdiction are a civil matter rather than a criminal one and thus would be exempt from investigation by the GCSB, unless some tortuous jurisdictional logic was applied (as has been attempted by the US DoJ).”

    A couple of points.

    1/ Breach of Copyright is not civil infringment – it is a criminal offense in NZ (under the Copyright Act 1994) with prison sentences up to five years, fines up to $150,000 (as well as court ordered damages).

    2/ The US indictment of Kim Dotcom and others for money laundering and crimimal copyright offenses on his file sharing and porn websites makes very interesting reading.

    Effectively they charge Dotcom was paying people rewards for illegally uploading copyrighted content, then charging people to watch it, knowing what they were doing was illegal, and refusing to take down illegally copied material when ordered to.

    You can read the indictment here –
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/78786408-Mega-Indictment.pdf

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  63. Apologies photonz1.

    You are quite right wrt copyright infringement being a criminal issue. What I meant to suggest is that it does not meet the definition of ‘serious crime’ under NZ law.

    Money laundering certainly meets the criteria though.

    I guess in the end, it comes down to whether you think the use of an intelligence agency dedicated to protecting government information systems and obtaining foreign intelligence that threatens NZ national interests, is the appropriate one for collecting criminal intelligence against a NZ citizen, particularly when that is the job of two other distinct agencies, the Police and the SIS – both of whom already work with international law enforcement agencies on cross jurisdictional matters.

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  64. Gregor – if someone who has a long history of making money by ripping people off, with a long list of criminal convictions across several countries to prove it, comes to NZ and does the same thing here with his porn sites and sharing sites, then I don’t have the slightest concern at all about the police, SIS or GCSB, using whatever tools they have to shut him down and have him locked up (yet again).

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  65. Fair enough, photonz1.

    I’m very concerned about the ugly political logic / ethical ‘slippery slope’ that leads us to the pervasive, surveillance state.

    Each to their own.

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  66. Gregor – I’m not too worried about a “slippery slope” under a right wing government – the GCSB simply won’t get enough funding.

    Left wing govenments might be more of a worry as they are generally bigger, want to control more of the money, economy, and what people do.

    However left and right govenments in NZ only stay in power if they are relatively centrist (i.e. some people call the current govt extreme right, yet some of Labours most left wing policies like working for families have been retained).

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  67. I’m not too worried about a “slippery slope” under a right wing government – the GCSB simply won’t get enough funding.

    Genius! :)

    In all seriousness though, there never seems to be a shortage of tax dollars flooding in from the right for Laura Norder projects.

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  68. It isn’t for me, a question of whether the GCSB should or shouldn’t help out with the surveillance. The law COULD be good in that respect and for the most part makes sense.

    The weak spot is the oversight. Parliament including members of opposition parties, not the PM, must control this agency. The issue is not whether it is good to find and prosecute criminals. It is whether the people control the agency or the agency controls the people.

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  69. So, after refusing many times to appear on Campbell Live, and telling Campbell all his experts were not experts, Shonkey finally does so and MISINFORMS the public!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10913063

    Mr Key made the statement in response to questions about his fired-up appearance on Campbell Live on Wednesday night. In the course of the interview he said incorrectly that under the bill, the GCSB would not be allowed to look at the content of communications when conducting their cyber-security functions.

    In fact, there is nothing that prevents it from doing so. But what Mr Key is now saying is that in exercising his power to impose any conditions he wants on a warrant, he will use his discretion to set the default position not looking at content in the cyber-security function.

    Now, he is asking us to trust him, and future PMs, to use their “discretion”! As if he had some.

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  70. Also, Shonkey releases the fact that he has misinformed the country by giving an exclusive story to the Herald. Why can’t he just go back on Campbell Live and admit that he got it wrong (lied?). The guy is slime.

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  71. Key wasn’t telling the truth during his CampbellLive interview?

    Knock me down with a feather!

    Come on, photonz1, you’ve repair work to do.

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  72. Key gets one thing wrong on Campbell.

    Campbell didn’t get one thing right. His whole campaign is based on misleading the public.

    But Solkta’s still paranoid that he/she will be singled out by the Prime Minister and Commissioner of security who will Solkta is such a danger to NZ that they’ll issue a warrant so Solkta can be spied on.

    If you have a real reason to be worried, then there is a real reason to spy on you.

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  73. Gregor says “In all seriousness though, there never seems to be a shortage of tax dollars flooding in from the right for Laura Norder projects.”

    And Lauren Forcement. Is that an indication of where left and right parnoias are directed?

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  74. BJ says “The weak spot is the oversight. Parliament including members of opposition parties, not the PM, must control this agency.”

    The new law specifically allows for regular briefings of the leader of the opposition.

    I have no issues with the oversight. Equally, I’m not against more oversight if that helps ease paranoia.

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  75. It’s gotta be more than token oversight though; there has to be political control and accountability to the voters. Not in day-to-day operations, but at a policy and process level.

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  76. Key failed to understand the bill he is championing. He boldly asserts that he is RIGHT and those who gainsay him are WRONG. His in-your-face uber-confidence is a taught technique and he’s using it well to deflate journalists, reporters and politicians who seek to challenge Key’s frequently wrong and often misleading claims. Ordinary folk can be taken in too, by steady-eyed confidence and aggressive declarations that ‘the reality is’ and ‘I am right and you are wrong’, but not everyone misses the point that it’s a matter of method designed to win arguments, whether correct or not.

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  77. Key and Brownlee et al too, use interviews as platforms to shunt home their well-practiced lines. Nothing too unusual in that, but nothing admirable either. Campbell was oddly unready for that, but it’s clear that the only counter to such an aggressive, relentless method is to foil their overbearing approach with equal vigour. Unfortunately, none of our media people are able to do that. Their training is not yet up to speed with the Crosby/Textor/whoever methods being employed by the National Party MPs. It’s made especially difficult because the politicians have a prescribed message they want to deliver, where the interviewers seek to clarify numerous points. The politician holds the advantage in those forums and they are being trained well.

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  78. John Campbell will however, make hay from Key’s mistake and the false ‘solution’ he has proposed.
    Fun and games.

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  79. greenfly says “John Campbell will however, make hay from Key’s mistake and the false ‘solution’ he has proposed.”

    Campbell has been going around the country falsely telling everyone they will be spied on.

    It’s no surprise that even a left wing socialist media commentator like Dr Brian Edwards said of Campbell

    “ranting is not interviewing”
    “a graceless and embarrassing performance”

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  80. Yes, yes, photonz1, we sympathise with you and wouldn’t wish a stomach ulcer on any one.
    Russel was on RadioLive just now, opening Tamihere and Jackson’s eyes and ears to Key’s deceits on CampbellLive. Russel’s good – very good. I’d pit him against Key ANYTIME. He’s doesn’t get flustered, he knows what’s true and what’s not. Key fears him, that much is clear. In the House, Russel pins Key and drives that pin deeper and deeper til Key folds or loses his rag.

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  81. greenfly says “In the House, Russel pins Key and drives that pin deeper and deeper til Key folds or loses his rag.”

    Yet in preferred prime minister polls, Russel is on 3% and Key is on 41%.

    Russel will be caught with his pants down come next election when he has to explain how he will take $488m in annual power profits, give back $750m, and still leave the companies with a reasonable profit.

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  82. Yes, Russel frightens Key. He’s called Key on misleading the public on CampbellLive and key will run, avoid and hide from Russel.
    Mark
    my
    words.
    I am buoyed though, photonz1, to hear that there are people, 3% of the population, who prefer Russel as PM, over Key! Excellent! Russel isn’t even trying and he’s rating on the Leader Score – amazing. Watch that figure grow as Russel continues to hound Key and see Key run as he does so.
    Go Russ!

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  83. Greenfly says “I am buoyed though, photonz1, to hear that there are people, 3% of the population, who prefer Russel as PM, over Key! Excellent! ”

    Considering the Greens got 11% at the last election and only 3% of the population prefer Russel as PM, that means three quarters of Greens don’t even prefer Russel as Prime Minister.

    And you think this is excellent. So do I.

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  84. Actually, if the preferred prime minister polls show Russel at 3% and Key at 41% the real implication and it is far more reasonable than the idea that Greens don’t like Russel, is that the polling technique is skewed in some fairly real fashion that manages to avoid Greens. In other words, the implications are likely to be about polling accuracy, not about Greens.

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  85. Or it could mean that much of the Green vote is more an anti National and anti Labour vote.

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  86. Good point, bj. The polls might well be unrepresentative, as many have long suspected.

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  87. Key has explained his misleading claims on CampbellLive – he wasn’t wrong at all! And Russel doesn’t know what he’s talking about!
    Who’d ever have guessed that Key would try the ol’ stare-‘em out ploy!
    Whatever will his spin-men come up with next???

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  88. greenfly – your problem is Key could say that Wellington is the capital or Auckland is the biggest city and you’d still try to argue he’s wrong.

    With the preferred PM it could be that Green voters realise that if a left wing govt gets in, it will be Shearer rather than Norman who is the PM, and so switched their vote to Shearer.

    Except he only got 13% of the vote. So Shearer and Norman combined still only total 16%.

    BTW the poll is from Colmar Brunton.

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  89. If Key said “Water was Wet” it would become necessary to check. He has an almost pathetic aversion to allowing the truth to come out.

    Even about things of no consequence.

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  90. BJ says “If Key said “Water was Wet” it would become necessary to check.”

    Whereas an unblinkered person wouldn’t need to check – they’d just use their brain.

    45,000 additional jobs have been created this year. If you listen to the Greens, you’d think the opposite was true.

    Manufacturing is currently expanding at one of the fastest rates in the last 11 years. If you listen to the Greens, you’d think the opposite was happening.

    Power companies in 2012 had the second lowest profits in nearly a decade. Greens falsely say their profits have never been bigger.

    And BJ says the Greens always try to be truthful – yeah right.

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  91. 45k additional jobs created this year.

    Which has what to do with the PM and his economy with the truth exactly, photonz1? I’m struggling to make the connection.

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  92. To recap – at the outset of this discussion around the GCSB bill, photonz1 declared, “I don’t care”. Since then, he’s been avid in defence of Key and the spy bill.
    Odd.

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  93. Key on water – “It’s dry!”

    Photonz1 – “Water’s always been dry, The Greens just oppose everything Key says. Kiwi’s are more interested in snapper, which are sea-mammals.”

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  94. From, of all places, Kiwiblog:

    Viking2 (9,817) Says:
    August 17th, 2013 at 8:06 am
    Everyone should read this. It is critical anaylsis of the GCSB bill. Now I know its boring and all but it’s your future communications and your use of the internet and how every time you make a keystroke on the internet you are vulnerable.

    Pity is that none of the grunt this implies will be used to catch people like the Nigerian scammers etc. but will be used against you personally if it suits the Govt. Ignore it at your and our peril.

    The PM’s reassurances are flawed and unconvincing

    On television this week Prime Minister John Key tried to assure the public it was “totally incorrect” that “the Government effectively through GCSB will be able to wholesale spy on New Zealanders”.

    Those who contend otherwise are, he says, plain wrong. That Mr Key has at last seen fit to engage in public debate about the effect of the GCSB bill demonstrates how critical his denial of the “wholesale spying” claim is, as far as the rest of us are concerned.

    The last thing that many will want to read is yet another opinion piece on the GCSB bill. But this issue really is the centre of controversy over the undemocratic way this bill is being rammed through, despite legitimate public concerns about the rampant interception of communications occurring here and overseas.

    In order to understand what the GCSB bill would do and whether it goes too far, it is necessary to compare its provisions with those of the existing GCSB Act 2003. That is necessary to refute Mr Key’s claims that nothing much is changing.

    We need first to identify the three kinds of information or data at stake. First, there is the content of our communications, electronic and otherwise. Secondly, there is the “metadata”, the transactional record generated when we communicate electronically (such as email), other than content. Thirdly, there are the “keystrokes”: the record of our online activities, such as the websites we visit. Each of these, collected over time and potentially stored forever, will disclose a great deal about us. Combined, they have the potential to create an extraordinarily revealing portrait of each of us and our associations and interests.

    In a nutshell, the reason why Mr Key is wrong as a matter of law in claiming that New Zealanders have nothing to fear from the GCSB bill is that his limited analysis of the three new functions to be conferred on the GCSB totally overlooks the point that the statutory intelligence-gathering powers of the GCSB are also being considerably expanded, at the same time as its functions are. When the totality of the changes is considered, we have a major increase in the overall role and powers of the GCSB. That, in some instances, the Prime Minister’s authority is required for the GCSB to proceed cannot alter this.

    The present GCSB Act limits the GCSB to gathering and analysis of “foreign intelligence”, defined to mean “information about the capabilities, intentions, or activities of a foreign organisation or a foreign person”. That is, it is prohibited from spying to obtain intelligence on New Zealanders and equally, on New Zealand entities and businesses.

    The GCSB bill abolishes the restraint on GCSB activities to “foreign intelligence”, and instead confers three considerably expanded functions. When Mr Key stated on television that the first of the three things the GCSB would be empowered to do is “foreign intelligence-gathering – nothing to do with New Zealanders”, he was in error. The new 8B function discussed below covers both foreign and domestic intelligence-gathering.

    The bill would give the GCSB under 8A a much wider cybersecurity protection function. Intelligence-gathering by the GCSB is empowered under that function, but significantly the limited protection conferred by proposed section 14 in relation to the “personal communications” of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents (“New Zealanders”, for short) would not apply to the GCSB when operating under 8A.

    Secondly, a new intelligence-gathering and analysis function is to be conferred on the GCSB under 8B. This function is very broadly worded. In particular it permits the gathering of intelligence about “information infrastructures”. That is defined widely enough to cover all types of electronic data systems (phones, computers, ISPs and telecommunications networks) and their content.

    These two new intelligence-gathering functions are not in any way restricted solely to targeted intelligence-gathering and collection of data (as against “wholesale spying”), from New Zealanders or indeed from others. By contrast with the present act, the GCSB bill both substantially expands the scope of the existing “interception warrants”, and introduces a new information-gathering tool, the “access authorisation”. Under proposed 15A(1), an interception warrant can be granted to intercept the communications of one or more persons or classes of persons or of “places” (for example, the location of an ISP), or all or any communications sent from or to a nominated overseas country. An access authorisation can also be granted authorising the accessing of one or more specified “information infrastructures” or classes of infrastructure. These are very broad “wholesale” powers.

    Furthermore, if the bill becomes law the GCSB, when it asks the Prime Minister for a warrant or authorisation, does not have to make out any particular threat to national security in relation to particular individuals, or even a generalised threat to security. That is by distinct contrast to our other spy agency the NZSIS, which must do so. The GCSB merely has to identify a hoped-for outcome which sufficiently justifies the interception or access which it is proposing. That is a very low threshold. Thus the bill will provide the GCSB with tools which will enable it to engage in “wholesale spying”.

    The GCSB bill does draw a distinction between New Zealanders and others. Under section 14 the GCSB when performing its 8B intelligence-gathering function is forbidden from deliberately targeting New Zealanders for the purpose of intercepting their “private communications”. However, that definitely does not mean the communications of all in New Zealand are safe from “wholesale spying” by the GCSB, let alone by New Zealand’s security partners.

    The section 14 protection relates only to private communications, defined in such a way as to exclude metadata and also any communication “occurring in circumstances in which any party ought reasonably to expect that the communication may be intercepted by” a third party. And because the section 14 prohibition on targeting relates only to the “intercepting” of private communications, it would appear to relate only to interception warrants as such, and not the new and highly potent “access authorisation”. The section 14 protection is strictly limited to New Zealanders. It will not protect the “private communications” of New Zealand legal entities such as NGOs or businesses.

    Mr Key is careful to limit his concession – announced on Thursday – to the GCSB’s cyber-security function. There is no such concession regarding not accessing New Zealanders’ content in the first instance under the 8B function. But that is the main area of expanded power, and of concern. Thus the concession falls far short of an adequate assurance.

    The third new function proposed (under 8C) is one of co-operation with other agencies to facilitate their functions. Here the bill as reported back has improved the drafting. But it remains a significantly expanded function compared with the present act. And Mr Key refuses outright to identify precisely what activities by the GCSB would be authorised to carry out under the guise of providing co-operation, advice and assistance to the Police, the Defence Force and the NZSIS. That is unacceptable.

    The Prime Minister’s attempt to reassure New Zealanders we are not sleepwalking into a total surveillance society is, unfortunately, flawed in its legal analysis and fails to convince.

    • Dr Rodney Harrison, QC, has been active in the public debate challenging the GCSB legislation.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10913479

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  95. This chart? Looking at the last 15 years perhaps?

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/unemployment-rate

    Yeah… THAT puts National in a good light… but we added 45000 jobs is that net or are we just counting the additions and not the losses, and is it a YEARLY thing or shouldn’t we examine longer periods if we are to get some notion of the effects of policy.

    I tried for stats nz but the site is apparently down. Not too surprising for the moment.

    How many new chums are being brought in? What are we paying people? How large is the structural distortion in the economy?

    Manufacturing WHAT Photonz. “MILK POWDER” is a manufactured product.

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  96. National MPs – “No, I don’t accept that”, “Well, they are wrong”.
    Match like with like, I say. Use their ploy, they paid big money for it but we can have it for free. Oh, and talk over the top of anyone interviewing you. That works a treat.

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  97. Key is a smug, self-righteous, dishonest, pimp. The good of New Zealand and its future, is not a feature in his motivations.

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  98. Actually Fly it makes sense. Say what you like about Kiwiblog there are a fair few honest libertarian thinkers on it and there is no question at all that they have the ability to recognize the challenge to the liberty of New Zealanders that the bill in its current form represents. The rest of the maroons there are loud and pointless goons and goobers, but an honest libertarian can be a valuable asset to the nation. It is unfortunate that they are so few in number. The bought tools are far more numerous.

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  99. BJ, I know that fantastic news for New Zealand is always a disaster in your eyes.

    It must awful always wanting things to be terrible.

    And when the news is good having to desperately hunt for something negative.

    Using your link but looking at job numbers, you’ll see we have around 70,000 MORE jobs now than before the GFC.

    And manufacturing is expanding at the third highest rate on in over a decade.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10913007

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  100. And considering the working population perhaps 100000 more people looking for work… the demographic loading is possibly even worse than that.

    Your shenanigans with looking only at the stuff you want to see are very familiar Photonz.

    Are you denying that the economy has a structural problem?

    Are you asserting that something Key has done actually addresses that problem?

    I see no evidence of the latter and no refutation of the former.

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  101. BJ – as predicted, you find something terrible about 45,000 new jobs, and 30,000 less unemployed since last year.

    When people are out of work, you blame the govt, but when things go the other way, you say it’s nothing to do with them.

    Your narrow-mindedness, despite the facts, makes you permanently negative and angry, regardless of how we are actually doing in the real world.

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  102. You are not at all convincing, photonz1. Tell us, those jobs:
    Do they equal jobs lost?
    Are they full-time or part time?
    Are they filled by New Zealanders or imported labour?
    Details, eh! They can be a bitch.
    Oh, one last thing, the rate of unemployment – how’s that looking?
    And a detail – the Pacific Island sector of the unemployment statistics – looking pretty good to you, photonz1?

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  103. greenfly – in NZ there are around 100,000 jobs lost, and gained, every quarter.

    This is 46,000 more people employed than were employed at the start of the year.

    greenfly asks “Are they filled by New Zealanders or imported labour?”

    One guy called John is imported labour, and got a job.

    Our rate of unemployment is looking pretty good – much better than the vast majority of the world – it would have to double to get to the average in Europe which is over 12%.

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  104. I’m sorry, but your irrelevant answer didn’t help and I didn’t find something “terrible” about the situation.

    I simply pointed out that jobs gained have to somehow accommodate the net increase in working aged population. In other words, things going the other way isn’t something that you’ve showed actually happened, nor do the unemployment stats bear you out all that well. I see no significant change in that chart. If there is a recovery, it is jobless, just like it is everywhere else. The only people who actually “recovered” are Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

    There’s no point comparing NZ to Europe, we are not part of Europe. No point in comparing us to the USA as we aren’t part of the USA either.

    How many of the people we don’t count are people who left the country to find work elsewhere?

    The stats however, aren’t terrible… terrible would be a lot worse.

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  105. bj says “I simply pointed out that jobs gained have to somehow accommodate the net increase in working aged population. ”

    So are you desperate to be negative, or do you really believe the working age population has increased by more than 45,000 in six months?

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  106. No Photonz, of course not. I was referring to your claim of 70,000 more since the GFC which is in the immediately preceding post. A number which also makes it clear that any 6 month number that you crow about is simply noise. Our population in the 15-60 age group increased by ~160,000 since the GFC.

    Employment numbers have an annual cycle fer crissakes!

    There’s NO validity in hauling out a 6 month increase and calling it a trend – or asserting success OR failure based on it. Most people will make that sort of mistake but it IS a mistake.

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  107. Photo didn’t look at the fine print.
    The definition of being in “employment” and “unemployed” has been changed.

    Similar to, say, changing the size limit for snapper from 27cm to 16cm, and then claiming the catch of undersized snapper has decreased.

    Claiming a job increase when the definition of a “full time job” has been changed, makes comparison meaningless.

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  108. Now that many of our most respected and authoritative New Zealanders and institutions have been put in their place and the law has been passed, I guess we can only wait to see what will unfold. I am also sure that a number of people in the United States Five Eyes office are having a quiet (and most probably secretive) celebratory drink. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/critics-of-gcsb-dealt-to-muldoon-style.html

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  109. Kerry says “The definition of being in “employment” and “unemployed” has been changed.”

    How has it changed? (and when?).

    Link please.

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  110. “Resign v.t. – To renounce an honor for an advantage. To renounce an advantage for a greater advantage” – Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary).

    Surely abandoning the position of disrespected leader of an impotent opposition for the position of honored senior member of a government in power makes sense. Why is there such a furor about it? :-)

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  111. It IS hard to examine that juxtaposition of information and not be suspicious… isn’t it :-)

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  112. So Sprout thinks Fontera corruptly “bought” the 200 new lab results from the USA so that their milk powder has been cleared of botulism.

    What’s the weather like today on Planet Paranoia?

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  113. Have I missed something, or have there been no General Debate threads since this one?

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  114. Yes, and, since then the tone of discussion on this blog has improved. Coincidence?

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  115. No difficulty with the tone, which is a function of the individuals posting. Despite the IPCC and all the strife relating to it there is also desperately little attention to climate change here.

    This arrangement may keep some folks happy but it leaves a lot unsaid too.

    The front page of this blog has now, not a single active thread relating to climate. Taking away my ability to re-assert the importance of climate change and leaving it off the blog, is a sure and certain way to convince people that this party is not as concerned about the environment as it is the wages of the cleaners of the beehive.

    I do not think that that is a viable place for us to be with the voters of this country.

    I

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  116. One could argue that the thread on clean energy is related to climate change…

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  117. One could, but that threat is not the appropriate thread to make comments about the IPCC report or other climate change issues.

    Right now, the Green Party should be doing what it can to sell the carbon tax that has been demonised unfairly in Australia, being blamed for huge rises in electricity and fuel prices when in fact it has only caused a small fraction of those price rises.

    Trevor.

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  118. DBuckley, the silence is deafening. With the IPCC report just out, not commenting is a pointed reminder that this is not a one-issue party. I am simply opining that the point in THIS case is misplaced and the party needs to pay some attention to what is arguably a larger threat to human civilization and survival, than Global Thermonuclear War. Arguably, not certainly :-)

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  119. No disagreement from this quarter.

    Is it possible that the party is active on so many fronts that its lost track of what should be its core mission?

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  120. The effort appears to be diffuse now. As you say, active on so MANY fronts that most people can’t keep track of them all.

    Russell has point on the finances and I want us pushing hard on it and regard it as tied to TPP.

    Climate is the equal of Finance. My complaint here is that it isn’t at all apparent that it is.

    Social equality and social justice issues need to be focused better. Living wage, fairer wages and fairer taxation. Metiria is doing fine with that and I want that to continue.

    Past that we have Stefan banging on a very important drum with the GCSB and subsequent similar assaults on our freedoms.

    That’s really 4 issues, 4 primary areas of focus. We can’t ignore the others, but they have to be “in addition to” those primary things, and all our MPs really need to not only be able to talk about their portfolios AND the primary issues, they need to do so.

    I’d wager that the image of what this party stands for gets damned blurry for people looking in from the outside. We can’t afford that. When the voter goes to the polls they need to have a clear notion of what we think are the most important issues. If we give clarity and confidence we’ll be much more electable.

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  121. The IPCC report isn’t enough to silence the denialists:
    http://www.dailytitan.com/2013/10/dangers-extent-of-climate-change-overblown/
    They even go so far as to say:
    “The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced a report at the beginning of September that showed, contrary to all the howling, that the earth’s temperature is experiencing quite a chill and there hasn’t been any warming in over 15 years.”

    Of course this ignores the Argo sea temperature measurements which show a rise in ocean temperatures:
    https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/ocean-heat-content-10-1500m-depth-based-argo

    And of course their 15 years starts from 1998 which was a record-breaking high temperature year.

    Trevor.

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  122. And from the IPCC:
    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/south-australia/intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change-draft-report-warns-australia-will-be-a-hot-spot-as-world-gets-warmer/story-fnii5yv4-1226739298348
    predicts significant increases in heat-related deaths in Australia and $200 billion of infrastructure at risk from rising sea levels.

    This makes the claims that we can’t afford to do anything about climate change sound rather hollow…

    Trevor.

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