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Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

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Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

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Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

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No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

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Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

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Greens: Housing Crisis Demands Urgent Action
“People are saying the housing crisis was ten years in the making. For most of those ten years, National’s been in charge while New Zealand has become a country where families are forced to live in garages and cars,” Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson said. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Proposed Media Merger
Monopolies are bad for people, and bad for capitalism, too. Look at what happened in the late 1980s when a Labour government handed a state monopoly over to Telecom – which proceeded to screw its customers over prices, spent the bare minimum on new technology and blocked innovation for the best part of a decade, or more. More>>

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Parliament: TPP Bill Passes First Reading
The Bill will make all domestic legislative changes required to comply with New Zealand’s obligations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with the exception for obligations related to plant variety rights, which New Zealand has a three year period following entry into force to implement. More>>

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Review Called: OIO Failed To Show Ministers All 'Good Character' Info
The Overseas Investment Office had information about the 'good character' of the 2014 Argentine buyers of a 1,317 hectare Taranaki farm but didn't give it to the ministers assessing the application, its parent body Land Information New Zealand has disclosed. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Future Of Conservatism
For years, observers have noted the contrast between Prime Minister John Key’s ordinary Kiwi bloke persona, and the patrician prat more commonly seen in Parliament. This week though, the prat has been in plain sight. Nominally, Key got expelled from Parliament yesterday for disrespecting the Speaker, David Carter, by continuing to talk while Carter was on his feet... More>>

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Privacy Week: NZ's Privacy Regime Needs Teeth - UN Rapporteur
New Zealand's privacy regime is weaker than many of its international counterparts and needs teeth, the United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Professor Joe Cannataci, told a forum in Wellington hosted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. More>>

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Labour Not Supporting: TPP Bill Introduced To Parliament
Minister of Trade Todd McClay has welcomed the introduction of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill to Parliament as an omnibus Bill. More>>

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Budget 2016: 3000 Emergency Housing Places Funded
For the first time, the Government will pay for about 3000 emergency housing places across the country per year so people have access to a roof over their head when they need it most. More>>

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Welfare: Sanctions Imposed On Parents, What Happens To The Children?
Child Poverty Action Group says we have a welfare system that is more focused on punishing, or teaching lessons, than helping people. "This is bad enough for the adults but children can be hugely affected by the sudden cut to an already inadequate income." More>>

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Satire: Caught With Your Panamas Down
New Zealand's international trust regime has been under the spotlight... Scoop registered a special shell company in order to facilitate the free exchange of views with a government expert on the subject. More>>

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'Pragmatic Outcome': Waitangi Tribunal Clears TPP Treaty Clause
Jane Kelsey: ‘Reading the report, it is clear that the Tribunal accepted... that there are real risks in the TPPA that did not exist in previous agreements, in particular with the rights of foreign investors to bring investment disputes. It was also ‘troubled’ by ambiguities and uncertainties in the Treaty Exception’, she said. ‘But it could not reach any conclusions about how these would pan out in the future’. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Govt’s Token Plans For Cyber-Security
Basically, the world is divided into two types of people: those who think the Panama Papers illustrate the bad shit that some people do, and those who think the Panama Papers illustrate what needs to be done to make sure no-one else discovers the shit – good or bad – that they’re doing. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac’s Grudging Concession To Reality
Is this any way to run a health system… whereby terminally ill patients are forced into public demonstrations before the government (and its funding agency Pharmac) will grudgingly provide the money for life-saving treatments freely available and publically funded in Australia for the best part of a year? More>>

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Labour: Healthy Homes Bill Passes First Reading
Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

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Werewolf Satire: Home, And A Way
The one thing even more popular than an Auckland house is offering advice on how to afford an Auckland house. So, on the grounds it can’t be worse than some of the stuff that’s out there, here’s my three cents* worth. [*Up 50% since 2013!] More>>

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Werewolf: The Defence Pretence
Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina
So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

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Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services
Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

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High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?
The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

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Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable
The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

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'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement
The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox
The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

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Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change
There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

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Paris Climate Deal Signed: Bennett 'Taking Advice' On Cancelling 'Dodgy' Credits
Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett is "taking advice" on whether to cancel some or all of the so-called 'dodgy' carbon credits bought mainly by power and petrol companies to cover New Zealand's future obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Having An Extradition Treaty With China
Reportedly, an extradition treaty with China is now on the table, although – thankfully – Prime Minister John Key has also indicated that a lot of detailed work would be required before any such arrangement took final shape, much less came into force... More>>

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Fewer Beneficiaries: Social Development Stats Don’t Add Up - Labour
“It should be of significant concern to the Minister that there has been a decrease in the numbers of people who are going into employment or full-time study when they come off the benefit... A drop in beneficiary numbers can only be deemed a success if families are in fact better off." More>>

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Caring About Food: Community, Unions, Politicians Unites Against Hospital Slop
Community groups, workers’ unions and Opposition parties are all calling on Southern District Health Board to bring food services back in-house and release commercial provider Compass from their 15-year contract. More>>

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UN Policy Meeting: Dunne On World Drug Problem
The Outcome Document to be ratified at this meeting is broad, but New Zealand notes with strong regret the failure to achieve consensus on inclusion of reference to the death penalty... It has been a welcome development in recent years to see the shift away from treating drug issues as primarily a law and order responsibility, to a health focus, but let us not rest on our laurels. More>>

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Lyndon Hood Satire: Information Shearing
Finance Minister Bill English has highlighted his plan for expanded information sharing between government departments. Scoop was able to construct the following interview with Mr English based on a weighted neural multivariate analysis of publicly-available metadata. More>>

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Jane Kelsey: Government Seeking To Stymie Report On TPPA
"Why the government suddenly announced it is fast-tracking the report date for the select committee considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from the end of May to 4 May is now clear. It gives the Waitangi Tribunal three rather than seven weeks to produce its urgent report..." More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On Our Fearless PM’s Foray Into China
Don’t mention the South China Sea dispute. Oh, but he will! Earlier this week, the image of dauntless Prime Minister John Key not backing down in the face of alleged Chinese intimidation would have done him no harm at all with the voters back home... More>>

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