Tag Archives: Central government

Associate Minister of Local Government: Return democracy to Kaipara

From our friends at MRRA, the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association (Inc.) —a plea for public support for their online petition.

Associate Minister of Local Government: Return democracy to Kaipara

Moves are afoot to have the term of the appointed Commissioners extended beyond the set date of October 2015. This appears to be an effort to create a platform towards amalgamation of the whole of Northland into a single Local Authority. Given the parlous state of Kaipara’s finances and the stubborn refusal of Commissioners to listen to ratepayers and residents, amalgamation can only be detrimental to Kaipara’s best interests and would likely result in those who created this mess escaping scot free. We want the minister to:
(a) Ignore requests for extension of term of the Commissioners
(b) Be open on discussions regarding reorganisation of local government in Northland
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Associate_Minister_of_Local_Government_Return_democracy_to_Kaipara/?tbVJcjb

Please forward the link to your friends and colleagues.
Click to share this petition on Facebook

█ Read more about the petition at Kaipara Concerns, a community newsletter that clearly outlines the issues affecting the people of Kaipara district. http://www.kaiparaconcerns.co.nz/

[screenshot – click to enlarge]
Kaipara Concerns 13.2.15Kaipara Concerns 13.2.15 Read on….

█ MP for Maungakiekie, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga is the Associate Minister of Local Government.

█ Hon Paula Bennett is the Minister of Local Government.
Ms Bennett’s portfolio includes roles as Minister for Social Development and Associate Minister of Housing. She replaces the outgoing Minister of Local Government, the Hon Chris Tremain, who is retiring at the next election.

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9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
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21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Disclaimer: This post, ‘Stadium: Online petition to pressure $1M donation’, does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of any kind by Elizabeth Kerr and the parties to What if? Dunedin.

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Auckland Council: Hark to DCC’s well-tried model of corporate welfare

Sky City International Convention Centre [via stuff.co.nz]Sky City International Convention Centre and hotel.

Somebody ruthlessly slips the word “National” into the name for Auckland’s proposed convention centre.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:32, December 22 2014
Auckland Councillors blast Sky City ‘corporate welfare’
By Niko Kloeten
Auckland ratepayers should not have to pay for a blow-out in the cost of the Sky City National (sic) Convention Centre, councillors say.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce raised the prospect of the Auckland Council chipping in to help fund the project, after new estimates revealed the cost could blow out by as much as $128 million. The increase in cost could leave taxpayers on the hook for any shortfall, but Joyce said the council could provide some assistance. “If you look at the Wellington Council, they’ve just done a deal to do a convention centre there, a much smaller one, but they’ve under-written some operating costs and that might help was well,” he told Radio New Zealand.
Howick councillor Dick Quax said the money would be better spent on the city’s much-needed transport projects, several of which have been delayed due to funding pressures. “It could be the beginning of an endless group of corporates coming to the council with their hands out. I don’t support corporate welfare at all.”
Read more

█ Dunedin City Council bought professional rugby and simultaneously lost 152 cars. But wait, there’s more.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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For more, enter terms such as *corruption*, *fraud*, *whistleblowers*, *dia*, *department of internal affairs*, *stadium*, *gambling*, *auditor general*, *oag*, *audit nz*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *sfo*, *pokies*, *ttcf*, *racing* or *rugby* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZ child poverty rates “stagnating”

### dunedintv.co.nz October 30, 2014 – 5:57pm
NZ child poverty rates haven’t improved since 2008
A new report from UNICEF shows child poverty rates in New Zealand haven’t improved since 2008. That’s prompted calls from locals for more governmental action to address the issue. And it seems even kids in Dunedin are feeling the effects of poverty. Video

Unicef - Children of the Recession (cover) Oct 2014### unicef.org.nz 29 October 2014
UNICEF cautions child poverty rates are “stagnating” in New Zealand
An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. UNICEF also revealed that youth unemployment has increased and more New Zealanders admit they do not have enough money to buy food.

The report, Children of the Recession, studied the impact of the global economic crisis on child wellbeing in 41 OECD and EU countries. It highlights the fact that the current and future lives of children have been – and are being – neglected in the global response to the Great Recession.

Read the full Children of the Recession report

Deborah Morris-Travers, National Advocacy Manager for UNICEF New Zealand, said: “The report shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have stagnated, reducing by just 0.40 per cent since 2008. At the same time, Finland and Norway, states of a similar size to New Zealand, have reduced their child poverty rates by 4.30 and 3.20 per cent respectively. This strongly suggests that the government needs to review its approach to addressing child poverty and make policies for children a priority. There are many good examples of successful policies being implemented internationally, highlighting that child poverty is not an inevitable result of the recession if governments implement appropriate policy responses.”
Read more

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John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight

John Oliver on NZ Election 1b

█ Watch at YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e25YmpQiEEY

Last Week Tonight at Facebook

****

### tvnz.co.nz Published: 7:34AM Tuesday September 23, 2014
US show mocks NZ over accent and National’s Eminem stoush
Source: ONE News
A British comedian has taken aim at an issue the National Party faced during its political campaign. In a clip posted on YouTube, John Oliver, who hosts the US show The Last Week Tonight, says New Zealand has re-elected Prime Minister John Key on Saturday, “despite a turbulent campaign with a major scandal that engulfed him earlier this week”. He then plays a ONE News clip, in which Wendy Petrie says: “Rap superstar Eminem’s become the latest to take pot shots at our Government.”
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John Oliver on NZ Election 3John Oliver on NZ Election 2aJohn Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews)John Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews samples National ad with Eminem audio) 1John Oliver on NZ Election (ONEnews samples National ad with Eminem audio)John Oliver on NZ Election (Stuff - Steven Joyce, National Party campaign manager) 1John Oliver on NZ Election (Steven Joyce, National Party campaign manager)It's pretty legal --Steven Joyce 1

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17.9.14 John Key PM —real or fake? and one email.
● 16.9.14 Eminem sues National Party
15.9.14 The Moment of Truth

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry

█ What today’s ODT editorial doesn’t tell you, story sunk not headlining…..

“We may as well kiss democracy goodbye” –The Standard
By NATWATCH, published at 8:13 am, September 19th, 2014
The words of the title of this post are those of Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem …. Yet another typical scandal from the dirtiest government ever seen in NZ. Read more + Comments

Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem to launch wide-ranging inquiry after election in respect of OIA practices

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Friday Sep 19, 2014
Ombudsman ‘appalled’ by ex-Customs lawyer’s OIA allegations
By David Fisher
A former Customs lawyer claim that he was told to bury bad news matches similar stories which have sparked a wide-ranging inquiry by Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem. She said she was “appalled” by Curtis Gregorash’s claim. “Having said that one of the reasons I am undertaking of selected agencies in respect of their OIA practices is that anecdotally a number of people have told me similar stories,” she said. She said a planned inquiry to be launched after the election could see the Ombudsman’s office using its Commission of Inquiry powers to compel evidence to be given under oath were there signs information was being hidden. “Ministerial offices will be figuring in our inquiry and that is all I will say.”
Read more

Tweet from Chris Slane (@Slanecartoons) tweeted at 9.18 AM on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 (1)

****

Whistleblower Curtis Gregorash said he was subjected to an internal investigation after releasing information about Dotcom sought by the NZ Herald through the Official Information Act. The information released saw Customs staff discuss earning “brownie points” by passing on Dotcom information to the FBI.

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Friday Sep 19, 2014
Ex-Customs lawyer claims he was told to bury info that could embarrass the Government
By David Fisher
A former high-ranking Customs lawyer says he resigned from his job after allegedly being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government.
Curtis Gregorash said he was told by senior Customs executives to refuse Official Information Act and Privacy Act requests, which he believed was at the direction of former Customs Minister Maurice Williamson. It comes at a time the Prime Minister’s office is under inquiry over the release of intelligence material through the OIA and accusations that former Justice Minister Judith Collins was manipulating OIA responses for political purposes. [Mr] Gregorash quit his role as Customs’ chief legal counsel in March this year after more than a decade as a government lawyer.

The lawyer turned whistleblower said: “I’ve sat on it for a long time. But the story itself is so awful it needs to be told. I think people really need to see what ministers and some senior executives do.

He had decided to speak because he believed the alleged instruction “was unlawful”, undermined the way the public service was meant to operate and was given for what was ultimately political reasons. “The direction came down (from the minister) through the CEO (Carolyn Tremain) and group manager (of legal services) Peter Taylor to me saying ‘you don’t release anything – I don’t care what the OIA says, I’d rather fight it in the courts’.”
Mr Gregorash said the alleged instruction came during a briefing from Mr Taylor to the legal team in which he referred to Ms Tremain and meeting with Mr Williamson. “I resigned over it. I couldn’t stare my staff in the face and say this is actually serious conduct that’s being presented to you in a lawful way.”
Mr Gregorash said the alleged instruction to withhold information was general – but became specific in relation to “sensitive” issues, including entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, wanted for copyright violation in the United States. “Mr Taylor directed me to withhold all information and pass the same direction on to my team.”
Read more

● In the public interest, lengthy citation of articles by David Fisher at New Zealand Herald (APNZ).

Related Post:
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests

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John Key PM —real or fake? and one email

Retracing rubber …. ohh the worry lines!

### 3news.co.nz Monday 15 Sep 2014 2:51 p.m.
Dotcom’s bombshell revealed – reports
By Simon Wong, Online Reporter
The New Zealand Herald reports Dotcom’s bombshell evidence is an email from October 27, 2010 and is alleged to be from Warner Brothers chairman and chief executive Kevin Tsujihara to Michael Ellis, a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) which lobbies for Hollywood studios. The email reads:

“We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand is paying off. I see strong support for our anti-piracy effort. John Key told me in private that they are granting Dotcom residency despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His AG will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.
This is a game changer. The DOJ is against the Hong Kong option. No confidence in the Chinese. Great job.”

However, Warner Brothers says the email is fake. Studio senior vice president for worldwide communications Paul McGuire said Mr Tsujihara didn’t write or send the alleged email.
Read more

█ Video http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/former-gcsb-boss-denies-snowdens-claims-2014091520?ref=video

Email via Campbell Live 15.9.14 [screenshot] 2Email via Campbell Live 15.9.14 [screenshot] 1Email via Campbell Live 15.9.14 [screenshot]Email via Campbell Live 15.9.14 - John Key [screenshot]Email via Campbell Live 15.9.14 - Kim.Com Mercedes [screenshot] 1TV3 Campbell Live (15.9.14) – Former GCSB boss denies Snowden’s claims
[screenshots]

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