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Gordon Campbell: A Govt. Christmas Bad News Dump -The Skycity Convention Center Blowout & A Negative MBIE Review

If the government really did have good tidings of great joy you can bet it wouldn’t be strewing them about at Christmas time – which is, traditionally, the dumping ground for terrible news that the government fervently hopes the public will be too distracted to notice. And so verily this Christmas Eve we learn of (a) the explosion of costs to the taxpayer and ratepayer of the vile SkyCity convention centre in Auckland and that (b) the government’s flagship MBIE “super-ministry” run by its Minister of Everything is a disaster zone of incompetence and mismanagement. MBIE is a Titanic looking for an iceberg, or so it would seem. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

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TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

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Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

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Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

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Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

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Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

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Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

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Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

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NSW Police Statement: Three Dead Following Martin Place Siege
About 2.10am (Tuesday 16 December), a confrontation occurred between police and a man who had taken a number of people hostage inside a café on Martin Place. Shots were fired during the confrontation. As a result, the 50-year-old man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Another man, aged 34, and a woman, aged 38, were pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Sydney Siege (And DHB Budget Cuts)
Whenever the authorities bring a siege situation to an end, there will be criticism if – as has happened in Sydney – any hostages are seriously hurt, or killed... In the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, columnist Peter Hartcher raises a different point – that the initial public response had been noticeably different to the agitated reactions of politicians and the media. More>>

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Maori Party: Tribunal Report Confirms Iwi Ownership Of Lake Waikaremoana
“We are pleased for the claimants that eight years after the hearing began on Lake Waikaremoana they have some closure,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. “Most importantly, the report confirms freshwater is a taonga and identifies the ownership rights of Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāi Tamaterangi to the lake bed.” More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Income Inequality, And Yo Ho Ho Christmas Songs
As 2014 grinds to a close, we probably didn’t need one more reminder of this government’s ability to stare reality in the face and declare black to be a very fine shade of white... Yet on Wednesday, there was Finance Minister Bill English trying to tell RNZ that the OECD was (a) wrong (b) using old data and (c) somehow anti-growth and in any case (d) New Zealand allegedly already had a strongly re-distributive tax system... More>>

Werewolf: Public Health - The Silent Crisis
Gordon Campbell: New Zealand’s public health system has been in crisis for so long that its failings – and deteriorating performance vis a vis other developed countries – now tend to be treated as its normal mode of being. More>>

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Parliament Today: House Adjourns For Summer
Parliament has risen for the summer break with the Adjournment Motion agreed just after 5pm on Wednesday. More>>

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Max Rashbrooke: New Zealand Performs Poorly On Inequality
A major OECD report provides new evidence that growing income gaps damage economic growth - with New Zealand singled out as the country whose economy has suffered most.. More>>

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Waitangi Tribunal: Report On Crown Review Of Maori Wardens
In its report released today, the Waitangi Tribunal has upheld the claim that the Crown’s review of the Māori Community Development Act 1962, and its administration of the Māori Warden’s Project, has breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi... The Tribunal notes that both the claimants and the Crown now agree that Māori should control their own institutions, including the Wardens, and lead any reform of them, not the Crown. More>>

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Wellington.Scoop: Local Govt Commission Calls For Wellington Supercity
The Local Government Commission has decided that Wellington should become a super city, with all of its nine councils being merged into one. It is recommending that the new super city should be governed by one council with a mayor and 21 councillors, advised by eight local boards. More>>

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Auckland: Rail Link Delay Over Funding Issues
In its draft budget, Council has the CRL project commencing in 2015/16, based on an assumption government’s funding contribution for the project would also start next year, five years earlier than government has so far indicated. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Oil Prices And The Eric Garner Killing
While Labour and National fiddle around with the powers of the security services – and warrantless surveillance is still an outrage even if it lasts for only 24 hours, Andrew Little – the big international story this week has been the plunge in oil prices. More>>

Transparency International: New Zealand Drops to 2nd 'Least Corrupt Country' in Index
Transparency International has announced that Denmark has overtaken New Zealand to become the county with the lowest level of perceived corruption in the public sector in 2014. More>>

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John Key: Opening address to the 2014 New Zealand Post-Election Conference
I want to start by putting on record what a privilege it was to win a third term. I can speak for all my National Party colleagues in saying that we are conscious every day of the trust that voters have placed in us. We are determined to repay that trust. More >>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour prematurely declaring victory over the SIS law
The use of cute labels to market bad ideas is what you do when running the country seems like a process similar to selling soap powder. So we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the Key government seems willing to drape its deployment in Iraq in the spirit of Anzac.
More >>

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On Cameron Slater: "Key should close down Black Ops" - Greens
John Key must assure New Zealand that he has closed down the Black Ops attack unit in his office, and promise to sever all contact with blogger Cameron Slater, the Green Party said today. “John Key has today gone on the defensive making all sorts of excuses for misleading reporters... More>>

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