Tag Archives: Bill English PM

[FUT] There will be an SAS inquiry

Photo via publishers pottonandburton.co.nz

█ Website: HIT AND RUN – https://www.hitandrunnz.com/

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N U T S H E L L S ● S I N C E ● B O O K ● L A U N C H

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### ODT Online Mon, 3 Apr 2017
No SAS inquiry: PM
There will not be an inquiry into allegations an SAS raid in Afghanistan led to civilian deaths. Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry. It came after formal advice from Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating. “After considering Mr Keating’s briefing…and viewing video footage of the operation I have included there is no basis for an inquiry.” Mr English said if new information changed this it would be reconsidered. He said the allegations had caused distress to NZDF staff and their families. […] Hit & Run by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager claim six civilians were killed and 15 were injured in the 2010 raids in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, and those facts have been covered up by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
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### radionz.co.nz 4:17 pm today
From The Panel with Jim Mora
No inquiry into the Afghanistan SAS operation #
Are there gaps in the NZDF account of the SAS operation in the Hit & Run book?
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6′57″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am today
PM trusting military’s word ‘a joke’ – Hager
By Craig McCulloch, Political Reporter
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager has accused Prime Minister Bill English of joining “a seven-year cover-up” by refusing to hold an inquiry into a 2010 raid in Afghanistan. Mr Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book Hit & Run claims six civilians were killed in a raid on two Afghan villages involving New Zealand’s SAS in 2010. Mr English yesterday ruled out an inquiry after being briefed by the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, and watching video footage of the operation shot by some of the aircraft involved. But Mr Hager said it was “a joke” for Mr English to trust the military’s word. “These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”
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### radionz.co.nz 12:39 pm on 3 April 2017
RNZ News
Soldiers’ honour hinges on inquiry – Transparency International
By Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor
A global anti-corruption group has added its voice to calls for an inquiry into allegations in the book Hit & Run, relating to raids on a Afghan village in 2010. The book alleges several civilians – including a three-year-old – were either killed or injured in the raid, which involved New Zealand special forces. The Defence Force has confirmed Operation Burnham took place on 22 August 2010, that New Zealand had a leading role, and there were fatalities that could have included civilians. However, it said the troops followed rules of engagement and the only people they could definitively say were killed were insurgents. Along with some parties and the book’s authors, Transparency International New Zealand chief executive Janine McGruddy wants an inquiry.
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The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, closely modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). It traces its origins to the Second World War and the famous Long Range Desert Group that a number of New Zealanders served with. The New Zealand Government states that NZSAS is the “premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force” and it has been operationally deployed to a variety of locations, including the jungles of South-East Asia, the Pacific region and Afghanistan. The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations and international on request, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive hazards for both the military and civilian authorities. #

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█ Read more at Twitter #HitandRunNZ

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### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am on 26 March 2017
From Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
Jon Stephenson – Hit and Run #
Co-author of the book, Hit and Run, Jon Stephenson, joins Wallace to talk about what he and Nicky Hager uncovered in their book and why there needs to be an official enquiry into what happened in Afghanistan.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (19′36″)

### radionz.co.nz 7:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson and Guy Espiner
New book claims Govt, NZDF covered up civilian casualties #
Journalist Nicky Hager says it is beyond belief government officials deny New Zealand SAS troops were involved in civilian deaths during a botched raid in Afghanistan in 2010.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (12′51″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Guy Espiner
Blanket denial made about claims SAS soldiers killed civilians #
Journalist Jon Stephenson says SAS soldiers involved in a botched raid in Afghanistan have told him and fellow writer Nicky Hager that lies were told to cover up the fact civilians were killed.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (8′56″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:20 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
War crimes specialist says NZ could face problems #
War crimes specialist Alison Cole says Hit and Run contains enough information for International Criminal Court prosecutors to begin an investigation.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (5′40″)

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S A T I R E

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C I R C L I N G ● T H O U G H T

COOL! Published on Mar 25, 2017
Sia – Blank Page ft. Christina Aguilera (Mashup)
“Blank Page” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, taken from her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). It was written by Aguilera, Chris Braide and Sia Furler, with production done by Braide. Aguilera had worked with Furler on her previous two albums Bionic and Burlesque, both released in 2010.

Artist: Francis Perreault
https://www.facebook.com/perreaultcreations

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Bill English PM : Super changes

john-key-54-and-bill-english-54-in-aug-2015-david-white-fairfax-via-stuff-co-nz-1

“New Zealanders are healthier and living longer so adjusting the long-term settings of NZ Super while there is time for people to adapt is the right thing to do.” –Bill English PM

### NZ Herald Mon, 6 Mar 2017 3:19 PM
PM Bill English announces Super changes [+ Videos]
The eligibility age for superannuation will rise to 67 years old by 2040, Prime Minister Bill English revealed this afternoon. In a major political development, English promised to begin progressively lifting the threshold from 65 to 67 years old in 2037. That means the changes will not affect anyone born on or before 30 June, 1972. The Government will not act on the promise until after the general election in September.

English said the major change would be legislated for next year. The Government will also limit superannuation eligibility to people who have lived in New Zealand for 20 years, rather than 10 years. That is lower than the commissioner’s recommendation of 25 years. English said the new residency requirement would apply to people who arrived in the country after the law was passed – likely to be next year if the National-led Government remains in power.

Other settings such as linking NZ Super to the average wage and universal Super without means-testing would remain unchanged. The age at which people could access Kiwisaver would remain at 65.

In justifying the change, English noted that even someone who retired at age 67 was likely to receive NZ Super for longer than someone who retired at age 64 today. “That is because average life expectancy is increasing by about 1.3 years each decade.”

The changes to the age of eligibility and residency requirements would save the Government at estimated 0.6 per cent of GDP or $4 billion once fully phased in.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce said New Zealanders’ life expectancy had risen by 12 years over the past 60 years. “When the age was set at 65 in 2001, a retiree could expect to spend about a fifth of their life receiving NZ Super. That has since increased to about a quarter. Following this change, those eligible for NZ Super at 67 in 2040 can still expect to receive it for a quarter of their life on average.”

Experts have said the Government will have to do more than raise the age of eligibility to keep the Super scheme affordable. The cost of the scheme is expected to triple in the next 20 years from $11 billion to $36b as more people reach the over-65 age-group and live for longer.

….English said raising the retirement age in 2037 would more fairly spread the costs and benefits of NZ Super between generations, ensure it remained affordable, and would give people time to adjust. It would also bring New Zealand into line with other countries like Australia, the UK, Denmark, Germany and the United States. English said he did not think his proposals would damage National’s chance of winning a fourth term. “I think they will enhance it,” he said.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: stuff.co.nz – John Key (54) and Bill English (54) in August 2015. Photo by David White/Fairfax, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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