On a benefit? The government is spying on your social media

As a headline, it would upset the lefties.  I think it’s great.

A spokesperson for the ministry in New Zealand confirmed to RNZ that its investigators use social media when looking into potential welfare fraudsters.

The spokesperson said the use of social media usually occurred after an investigation had been launched.

However, if staff became aware of a potential fraud through social media they were obliged to notify the investigation team.

“Our investigators follow all sorts of lines of inquiry and publicly available social media provides an obvious source of information to follow up.”

The ministry said it used a range of techniques to detect benefit fraud including data matching with six other government agencies, which was the most successful method.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said it was important that any information from social media was verified by government agencies.”Just because somebody posts something doesn’t mean it’s true and can be relied upon.”

However, people could not object to information they put out for the world to see being used, he said.

“People have different settings that they put on their Facebook page and other social media … just being conscious that what you are posting may have a far wider audience than you anticipate is a really good thing to remind people of.”

As we’ve seen with the Cry Babies, we’re still in a phase where people simply are too thick.  But that will change.  Read more »

Little for Rongotai? Yeah nah

Labour veteran Annette King has confirmed she will stand again in 2017 but possibly only on the list, a step which would open up her Rongotai electorate for leader Andrew Little.Mr Little is currently a list MP and if he does not win an electorate he could be the first Prime Minister who is not also an electorate MP.

Although the party vote determines a party’s representation in Parliament under MMP, there is still some moral weight in being able to win an electorate and Labour is unlikely to want to take any risks.

Mr Little lives in the Rongotai electorate in Wellington – a safe Labour seat in which Ms King has been the local MP since 1993.

Asked if Mr Little had asked her to allow him to stand in the seat, Ms King said “that is hypothetical”.

“We talk to each other all the time, but I’ll make my announcement on what I’m going to do in the future.”

She said she would announce her decision “when I’m ready.”

King is smart enough to see this year out first.  Apart from the far-fetched scenario Andrew Little will be PM by 2017 and it would look silly if he didn’t have an electorate (would it?  he looks silly now), the plans hatched over smoky barbecues over the summer are still to be implemented, and Annette’s got enough scars to know to wait and see how all those turn out. Read more »

News behind the news: The Whaleoil Dildo analysis

A week ago, it wasn’t a word we felt uncomfortable saying in mixed company.  But suddenly, it’s gone mainstream.

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This is actually quite a telling graph.  Back in the mid-2000s, there appears to be an unusually large interest in dildos.  This can be explained away by remembering the Internet was populated mostly by early adopters and tech geeks.  Mum and dad, and certainly nan and pop weren’t on the Internet yet.  This caused a disproportionate skewing of search results. Read more »

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Rudman says anarchy reigns supreme on Te Tii Marae

John Key

… the annual hi-jinks at the Waitangi lower marae have become increasingly tiresome and John Key was right to call a halt last Saturday to the ritual humiliation of our PMs Ngapuhi see as their right.

The tribe’s inability to control their hot heads eventually wore Prime Minister Helen Clark down and she chose to go elsewhere to celebrate the national birthday. Read more »

Backlash over sneaky council intensification plans

Auckland Council don’t give a toss about anything but their compact city.

They’re prepared to ride roughshod over the locals of every suburb. Don’t want cruddy rear yard subdivisions and poxy low-quality terrace houses? Too bad! They do.

That’s hardly a surprise – they arrogantly think they know better than anyone else.

But locals are peaved and they are starting to revolt.

Dramatic plans to rezone thousands of properties for more intensive housing face a rocky ride after a public meeting drew a crowd of 660 in Auckland last night.

The Herald understands as many as 10 of Auckland Council’s 21 councillors and mayor want to overturn the latest zoning changes, and may put the issue to a fresh vote.

In December, the council announced large swathes of suburban Auckland could be rezoned for multi-storey buildings, terraced housing and apartments in revisions to the proposed Unitary Plan, a new planning rulebook for the city.

The latest changes were made and voted on behind closed doors, property owners were not consulted and have no formal right of reply.

Last night members of the Auckland 2040 community group accused the council of being “devious” and “hijacking the democratic process”, which several residents and ratepayers groups said would change the character of their suburbs.

[…]    Read more »

Mental Health Break

Explaining is losing: Rotorua Labour Electorate Committee chairman Haydn Marriner gives it a go

"Who do you trust?" - a bit of nostalgia

“Who do you trust?” – a bit of nostalgia

Rotorua’s Labour Party may owe about $9000 – but the branch says it is no indication the party is in trouble locally.

Rotorua Labour Electorate Committee chairman Haydn Marriner said while the latest financial summary for the branch showed it was about $9000 in debt, it was all internal debt and mainly due to an unpaid annual levy which was more than $7000.

Mr Marriner said there was “nothing too untoward about it”.

Read more »

Map of the Day

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Read more »

New Zealand starting to lag on medical marijuana front as Australia tackles it head-on

israel_high_free_marijuana

Legislation to allow the cultivation of cannabis in Australia for medical or scientific purposes will be introduced by the Federal Government today.

The proposed amendments to the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967 would allow for cultivation through a national licensing and permit scheme. Read more »

Another one of Labour’s missing million finds his way home

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via examiner.com.au

A convicted drug trafficker and bikie gang leader has been deported to New Zealand after his Australian visa was cancelled on character grounds.

Colin David Picard, 69, is the latest Kiwi to be exiled to his homeland after Australia’s Government introduced new immigration measures.

The former state president of the Rebels in Tasmania arrived in Auckland on a commercial flight yesterday.

NZ police said they did not comment on the identity of returning individuals.

Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury said it understood Picard was taken from Risdon Prison yesterday morning and on to the airport. Read more »