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Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

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Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

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143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

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Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

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Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

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Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

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LATEST HEADLINES

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Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup (And Lee Marvin)
Like the Commonwealth Games, the America’s Cup is one of those large sporting events that is struggling to find anyone foolish enough to want to host it. San Francisco certainly found that the America’s Cup delivered far, far less than it promised. More>>

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Public Service Target Updates, Changes: English Speech To Institute Of Public Administration
This is my seventh opportunity to talk to this audience, which reflects both the stability of this Government and the opportunity provided by a clear election mandate to embed changes in public services. I want to start by congratulating the public service. More>>

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Another Round Of Reviewing: Cabinet To Take Fresh Look At Bain Case
The Government has agreed to set aside all previous advice relating to David Bain’s compensation claim and conduct a fresh inquiry, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced. More>>

'Not Planning New Round': Charter School Back-Down A Victory For Kids
In answer to Parliamentary questions from Green Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty today, the Minister confirmed she was not planning a third Partnership School application round this year. “This is an admission of failure,” Ms Delahunty said. More>>

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Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Not-So-Great Week

No, it hasn’t been a terrific week so far for Andrew Little. The Labour leader’s decision to exclude the Greens from the (toothless?) committee that will play a yet-to-be-determined oversight role in the June review of our security and intelligence legislation is more important for its symbolism than for its real-life impact... More>>

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More Intelligence News

"Loophole": EEZ Law Fix 'To Give Certainty To Gas Supply'
“The EEZ law requires new marine consents for existing activities by the date their current mining permit expires. The Maui platform requires this consent by 28 June 2015... if it is appealed it will not be resolved by that date,” Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says. More>>

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Other Oil Bills:

Gordon Campbell:
On Labour’s Latest Stance On Iraq

Labour leader Andrew Little has expressed his support for air strikes in Iraq against Islamic State – and by doing so, he may have unwittingly undermined Labour’s opposition to a military response from New Zealand. More>>

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Ferry v Wharf: Incident At Devonport Wharf
At 10.40am the commuter ferry Kea, struck the wharf and a number of people, both passengers and crew, sustained injuries and have since received medical attention. More>>

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Public Good: The Crisis In New Zealand’s Civil Justice System
Barrister Frances Joychild has recently published an article about the poor level of access to, and the declining state of the New Zealand’s civil law arrangements... Frances’ evidence demonstrates that the situation for civil litigants and their representatives is becoming desperate. More>>

Sir Geoffrey Palmer: Step Up On Climate Change Needed Now
The New Zealand Government and the world need to take much stronger action on climate change, a former prime minister and minister for the environment has urged. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The SkyCity Debacle
As the Key government struggles to put a brave face on its blighted SkyCity deal, Judith Collins could be forgiven be feeling a small inner glow at just how badly this has turned out for the boys, and especially for Steven Joyce… More>>

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In The Lancet: NZ Leads Call For TPPA Transparency
Co-lead author and Canterbury psychiatrist Dr Erik Monasterio, says the TPPA, like other ‘new generation’ trade deals, threatens governmental ability to deliver affordable health care and legislate to protect public health and reduce health inequities. “And all the while, the text is shrouded in secrecy.” More>>

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Global Divestment Day: Call For Fossil-Free Banking
On Global Divestment Day (13th and 14th Feb), 350 Aotearoa will launch their new Fossil Free Banks campaign. The campaign is tackling fossil fuel investment in the banking industry in New Zealand. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Government Reluctance To Treat Enemies Of Islamic State As Friends
Question: is it legal or illegal for New Zealanders to donate funds online to the Kurdish organisations who are doing the bulk of the actual, effective fighting on the ground against Islamic State? More>>

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