Sunday, July 29, 2007

John Key has no credibility - our troops would have been sent by National

John Key can rubbish the following claims as much as he want's - it was National Party policy to send troops to Iraq, and will be in the future to anywhere else the US gets invoved in. Key has no credbility any more than the National Party.

Party leader John Key is rubbishing claims by an outspoken visiting politician that a National government would be likely to send NZ troops into war zones like Iraq.

British MP George Galloway is on a whirlwind tour to promote religious tolerance and he warns that National would adopt the war strategy of Britain and Australia.

Expelled from the British Labour Party in 2003 for opposing the Iraq invasion, Galloway was suspended from parliament just this month because of another row over Iraq.

Now he is in New Zealand and warns that the country could tread a dangerous path if it votes for a National government at the next election. He says following Australia's war strategy could make NZ a target for extremism.

"That would be a danger in itself because they are more likely to take New Zealand in the Australian trajectory and trust me you don't want to go there," he says.

But party leader John Key says there is no way National would be taking the country in that direction.

"George is talking absolute rubbish...we've made it quite clear we won't be going to Iraq, we wouldn't have sent troops to Iraq. National did support the Coalition of the Willing's right to send troops but that's because we are of the view that every country is entitled to take its own actions, but we certainly won't be going," says Key.

But the current government is also copping its share of criticism with Galloway questioning the secrecy surrounding the role of NZ's troops in some hot spots.

"There's some lack of clarity about New Zealand's role in the war in Afghanistan...just how many people you have, just what they're doing there appears to be a little clouded for a free country like this," he says.

And Galloway says Christian groups preaching an anti-Islam stance risk souring attitudes toward Muslims.

"They only number 45,000, they've never done anything wrong. Why let someone stir up division and hatred in your country."

Galloway says New Zealand is one of the most united countries he has seen and we should work to keep it that way.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harawira cooking with gas now - latest criticisms right on...

Harawira cooking with gas now - latest criticisms right on the mark...

MP Hone Harawira last night pleaded for moves to fix impoverished housing in Northland, contrasting Government inaction with the "middle-class shock" over leaky homes. The Maori Party also said the criticism he received after calling Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" last week might have been right. "Maybe I should have been firing my bullets closer to home". It might, he said, respond to the desperate needs in those homes where there was no bathroom, where a long-drop toilet hid behind a shabby wooden floor, where the wind whistled through paper-thin walls and ill-fitting windows and doors, where there was no heating or hot water cylinder, and where the only tap that worked was a cold one. Of course the Government needed to move heaven and hell to look like they were doing something – ANYTHING to appease home owners burnt by the incompetence of a greedy housing boom that didn’t bother to question building practices, however people in poverty living in sub standard housing has no one bothering to lift a finger. Point well made Mr Harawira.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Foreshore and seabed repeal bid fails as it should...

Foreshore and Seabed repeal to fail as it should:

The Maori Party says it's disappointed National will not support its bid to repeal seabed and foreshore law; all New Zealanders should be pleased it has failed.

The Maori Party is frustrated it will not have the support of National for its bid to repeal the seabed and foreshore law.

National has reconfirmed its opposition to any repeal of the law, meaning a private member's bill drafted by the Maori Party will fail.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the Maori Party is incredibly disappointed with the position National has taken, given it was a chance to open the issue to discussion with all New Zealanders. She is disappointed National has not had the courage to provide leadership on the matter.

Mrs Turia says they Maori Party had fully expected National to support the repeal bill because its central issue was property rights, due process and access to justice. She says National has gone around the country talking about one law for all, equal access to justice, yet on this particular issue is prepared to treat Maori differently to other New Zealanders.

Maori have never owned the foreshore and seabed anyway. Quite frankly how can anybody own land belw the high watermark anyway.

This is a good subject for another post in the future.

Monday, July 9, 2007

NZ airports test for explosives - NZ Herald story...

Good story below - compliments of the NZ Herald:

NZ airports to test flyers for explosives
Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 5:00AM Monday July 09, 2007
By David Eames
NZ Herald

New security measures are planned for New Zealand airports. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Is this a sensible move or an over-reaction?
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Passengers at New Zealand airports will be tested for explosives, and security officers are set to be given new sweeping search and seizure powers. "Trace detection" testing will see passengers routinely taken at random and tested for traces of explosives on their carry-on bags, and documents.

The measure - initially planned only for US-bound flights - is expected to be in place for all international passengers by August 1.

And it is understood Air New Zealand has also investigated fitting its fleet of 747-200 and 767-300 aircraft with security camera systems that would allow the flight crew to monitor passengers.

Aviation Security Service general manager Mark Everitt yesterday told the Herald trace detection testing - already employed overseas - would involve "continuous random testing" and would not delay flight departure times.

About 10 million people are expected to go through some type of security screening at New Zealand's airports this financial year, and it was important the testing required "minimal intervention ... because that's why we like living in New Zealand", he said.

AdvertisementThe test will be able to identify the exact type of explosive.

Mr Everitt said he was satisfied the innovations were sufficient to meet "the current safety threat", which had not changed in the past week, despite the failed terrorist attacks in London and at Glasgow Airport and links to doctors in Australia.

A tender process has been run, and the cost of the service - which Mr Everitt described as commercially sensitive - would be covered by existing national and domestic levies.

The move is the latest in a series of security features implemented in the past 18 months to fulfil New Zealand's international security obligations.

Other measures include the routine screening of all hold baggage from January 1 last year and the compulsory plastic bagging of liquid aerosols and gels from March 31 this year.

There has also been an increase in the number of explosives sniffer dogs on duty in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch since their introduction about 10 years ago, Mr Everitt said.

"The dog's nose will tell us there's an explosive, the baggage detection will tell us there's a bomb, and the trace detection will tell us what type of explosive."

And airport staff could be in for as tough a time as passengers under legislation due for a second reading in Parliament.

Changes to aviation security laws could see the background screening and searching of airport employees, security staff given the power to order the removal of outer garments during passenger searches, and a requirement airlines not carry anyone refusing to be searched.