Sunday, December 27, 2009

Helen clark spending her holiday in NZ...

Helen Clark spending holiday in NZ...

Former prime minister Helen Clark is spending her holiday back home in New Zealand.

She says she is enjoying time out from her busy job as head of the United Nations Development Programme.

Helen Clark will spend time at the beach and in the countryside, and hopes to do some hiking as well before returning to New York City in the new year.

Come back Helen - your country needs you. A smiling political lightweight just doesn't do it for me. The key doesn't fit the lock, either!

Acknowledgements: - NEWSTALK ZB

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kiwi blogger Whaleoil to be prosecuted...

"The man who writes Whaleoil, one of the country's best known blogs, is being prosecuted for what police say is breach of court suppression orders.

Cameron Slater is the first New Zealand blogger to be taken to court instead of just warned.

He has removed the items from his website after advice that if he didn't, he could be fined $5000 a day.

It is a tricky name and shame campaign which has landed the right wing blogger, known as Whaleoil, in hot water with the law.

Slater says he is being prosecuted for naming two celebrities on his blog.

“I've allegedly named two celebrities or so called celebrities on my blog - that’s what the police have alleged,” he says.

But it wasn't words that Slater posted on his blog; it was a series of pictures which the police say reveals the identities of two high profile people with name suppression for separate sexual offences.

“They've got form - they've got history - ones been in the slammer before so I couldn't see a reason why they should have name suppression,” he says.

Slater says he hasn't named anyone - just posted a series of random pictures, but media expert Martin Hirst believes that is enough to get him busted.

“Perhaps he was thinking that this was a clever way to get around the whole legal problem he's now facing, obviously the prosecutors had a different idea,” he says.

Posting the pictures was a protest by Slater at the way suppression orders are granted.

Although the internet has become a popular place for publishing suppressed material this is the first time a blogger will be brought before the courts.

Slater will be appearing at the Auckland District Court on January 5, he says he will fight any charges and that pictures will form part of his defence."

So what does this mean for other bloggers? Well, in my opinion there are two issues here. Whaleoil has broken a specific suppression order and law: Firstly,he released informed suppressed by the courts. He hasn't been denied the opportunity to release general information in his blog. New Zealand is not Fiji, China, Iran or Zimbabwe in this respect. Secondly, his opinion about the suppression law is a different issue, and I'm inclined to support him to some degree: Some people have their names suppressed during court trials for pretty flimsy reasons at times. So for the latter: Go for it Whaleoil!

From Down by the HuttRiver

Acknowledgements: Rebecca Wright, 3 News

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What a great Christmas message to beneficiaries from National Scrooge...

What a great Christmas message to beneficiaries from National Scrooge...

Govt announces changes to dole. Wellington People's Centre spokeswoman Kay Brereton says cuts will create underclass

There is confirmation from the top that the Government will be taking a serious look at the way unemployment beneficiaries are managed.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has indicated those receiving the dole may be taken off the benefit and made to re-apply for it if they have been receiving it for a 12 month period.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English says National did flag the idea in its pre-election manifesto last year and intends following through on its undertaking. He says it is really important when the job market is starting to pick up that people are given the signal that the dole is a transitional benefit.

However there are fears limiting unemployment benefits will create a desperate underclass in New Zealand.

Wellington People's Centre spokeswoman Kay Brereton says the move is outrageous and will only create a desperate underclass doing anything they can to survive. She says that is a recipe for a sick society and is a kick in the guts from the Government for Christmas.

Acknowledgements:© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Shane Jones and the Labour Party.Next year may be your year. Have a great 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

NZ Holidays under threat - thin edge of the wedge...

Holidays under threat - thin edge of the wedge...

The unions say the government has completed a review of the Holidays Act and wants to change the way leave is calculated.

Unions are outraged at what they believe is a move by the Government to cut holiday entitlements.

A review of the Holidays Act has been completed, and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson is indicating she will accept a recommendation for workers to be able to cash in exchange for a week of their annual leave.

CTU President Helen Kelly says it will have a huge impact on families on low wages, who will feel forced to give up part of their holidays just for cash to survive. She says while employers want struggling families to be able to exchange their leave, the solution to the problem is higher wages.

Ms Kelly says the Government should honour its election promise to protect workers' leave entitlements.

In addition, a change in the way annual leave is calculated will lessen its value for workers. As well as cashing in the fourth week of annual leave, there is talk of a new formula for calculating sick leave.

Ms Kelly is alarmed the Minister may be considering such changes. She says it will mean some people will not receive the same amount of pay on leave as they would if they worked. Ms Kelly says the CTU will be campaigning hard to protect all leave entitlements.

National wants to reduce holidays. If workers do cash in on their holiday pay, National will eventually say they don't need or want an extra week.

Acknowledgements: © 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asset sales in a second National administration...

Asset sales were always on the cards...

Labour claims National is softening up voters for a programme of state asset sales which would take place if it gets a second term in office.

Finance Minister Bill English delivered his Budget Policy Statement yesterday which shows the economy has turned the corner. The economic recovery has occurred earlier than forecast at the time of the Budget. The unemployment peak is now estimated at seven percent early next year and not the previous estimate of eight percent late next year. Future budget deficits have been revised down but it will still be 2016 before surpluses return.

Mr English also warned that the Government is examining the risks of owning state assets and identified SOEs Cordia, TVNZ, Kiwirail and New Zealand Post as companies that are struggling and are not keeping pace with change.

Labour MP David Cunliffe says that smells like an asset sales programme looming.

"New Zealand Post is an extremely profitable centre for the government. It's also the owner of Kiwibank, the only domestic bank in New Zealand. This government would sell us down the river."

The Government's books will be in the red at least until 2016.

Asset sales are a total unnecessity - we need public assets for when there is an economic recovery. NZ Post/Kiwibank is not struggling, and rail is the future around the world; in some countries competing well against air travel. It would be totally stupid to privatise our public assets.

>> More Politics News
© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Boy rider" Hone Hariwera being investigated...

"Boy Rider" Hone Harawwira being investigated...

Complaints laid with police after Hone Harawira filmed riding motorbike on forecourt of Parliament not wearing a helmet.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is being investigated by police after riding a motorcycle on Parliament's forecourt without wearing a helmet.

The incident happened a few months ago when the Maori Party MP was filmed meeting anti-violence campaigners. Two viewers have laid official complaints and it will be up to police to determine if the area in front of Parliament's steps is a road and therefore a place where the MP should have been wearing a helmet.

Mr Harawira is spending the rest of the Parliamentary year in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate after the Maori Party decided not to expel him over the racially abusive email he sent to a critic of his side trip to Paris while on Parliamentary businesses in Brussels.

He has since paid back part of the cost of the sightseeing trip at the request of Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What would you expect from Invercargill...

What would you expect from Invercargill...

Some nightclubs and bars are resisting Invercargill City Council's move to close them down earlier.

At the moment the night spots can stay open till 4.30am and some of the the licenses with that closing time are valid for a couple more years. But the Invercargill council has brought in a new policy to have licensed premises closed by 3am.

Councillor Darren Ludlow says its disappointing some bar owners are not playing ball. He says the council was looking for an accord that would bring everyone into line to shut down at 3am. He says they have not been able to get everyone to agree and it is frustrating.

Mr Ludlow says from now on all new liquor licenses issued will stipulate premises close at 3am.