Seagulls are becoming extinct. Oh, and… global warming

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It is hard to feel much empathy for these picnic lunch stealin’ car poopin’ rats of the sky. ¬†But apparently, they’re on the way out!

Seagull numbers in New Zealand are falling so quickly the birds now appear on threatened species lists, alongside the kiwi and the kakapo.

A Department of Conservation report on bird numbers has classified the black-billed gull “nationally critical”, the most serious category, usually reserved for our rarest birds, because of the rate of expected decline.

Numbers were predicted to drop by more than 70 per cent over the next 30 years.

There were an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 of the birds in 1977. There are now thought to be 60,000 to 70,000.

The red-billed gull, the mainstay of Kiwi beaches, is “nationally vulnerable”. Read more »

Rules are for other people (Another union parking mess)

Via the tipline

SFWU vehicle illegally parked across road from parliament at 6.00 pm yesterday.

No driver in car, legal park behind and plenty around corner.

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I keep getting more of these than any other type of organisations.  When Whaleoil was running its bad parking awareness campaign last year, it was obvious how many times union vehicles were being pinged.

But they are such important people on important business.  It justifies it all.

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Mental Health Break

H/T: Kevin Hague

David “Tainted” Fisher throws source under the bus

David “Tainted” Fisher does it again: ¬†he bites the hand that has fed him. ¬†It’s his standard MO, and I guess this is how he imagines balance in his work. ¬†First he drains his contacts and promotes their cause. ¬†When that well runs dry, he turns on them and all the information that was previously withheld in confidence as it didn’t suit the narrative is being used to throw his sources under the bus.

Today’s victim: ¬†Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom did not declare a conviction for dangerous driving on his application for New Zealand residency even though he had pleaded guilty to the charge eight months earlier.

The conviction was entered in September 2009 under the name Kim Schmitz after Dotcom was caught travelling 99km/h over the speed limit north of Auckland, according to court documents released to the Herald yesterday.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says Immigration New Zealand is “looking into the matter”.

Eight months later, Dotcom’s residency application asked, “Have you or your family members included in your application ever been … convicted of an offence (including a traffic offence) committed in the last five years involving dangerous driving”.

The form, signed by Dotcom and dated June 3, 2010, shows the “No” box to be clearly marked, indicating no dangerous driving conviction had been earned.

An Immigration spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on questions relating to Dotcom.

But, speaking generally, if Immigration NZ determined that someone had obtained their residence status through immigration fraud, such as providing false or misleading information in support of a visa application, they might become liable for deportation.

Writing generally, why don’t you just seek redemption by dumping everything you know about Dotcom and help us get rid of the pest. ¬†I can’t guarantee people will change their opinion of Tainted, but it would be a step in the right direction. ¬† Read more »

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Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


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For the map to make sense, I think you have to read it as “MOST equal” or “LEAST equal”. ¬†Otherwise Scandinavia is the worst play for gender equality, and that doesn’t make sense. ¬†So all in all, I think we’re punching above our weight world-wide.


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John Key doesn’t care much about privacy, that much is clear

For a sitting politician to publish a memoir, and for it to be updated with events that are still current, that’s as unprecedented as it is manipulative.

Worse, he outlines, word for word, a private phone conversation with one of his Ministers

Key describes Collins’ resignation

Mr Key also described for the first time the circumstances around Judith Collins’ resignation as Justice Minister.

He said it started on the day an email from Mr Slater surfaced. In it, he told a colleague Ms Collins was “gunning” for Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley.

Mr Key’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, called the Prime Minister on a Friday night and said “we have a bit of a problem”.

Mr Key decided to sleep on it. Read more »

Let’s get the dirt out in front: Police Minister declares his conviction

Mickey Woodhouse has a drink driving conviction.  Did the papers find out via hacking?   Nope, the minister and Key wants it out there in advance.

Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has owned up to a past drink-driving conviction during a wide-ranging interview about his new portfolio.

Asked if he had had any brushes with the law, Woodhouse revealed: “I have a conviction for driving with excess blood alcohol – it’s 27 years old, I was 21.”

He said: “You’ve asked, I can’t say no . . . I suppose that’s on the public record.”

People with drink-driving convictions are not allowed to become police officers. Woodhouse was appointed police minister this month.

Those that can, do. ¬†Those who can’t, become ministers.

Prime Minister John Key’s office confirmed last night that Woodhouse disclosed his conviction when applying to become a National Party candidate in 2008.

Woodhouse did not offer further details of the incident, but it has been reported that he was working for the BNZ about that time, before leaving in 1987 to play rugby in Britain.

Asked if he was now an upstanding MP, he said: “Certainly there’s too many eyes to be getting into too much mischief.”

Interesting dodge, don’t you think? ¬† Sill hedging. ¬†Wonder why… ¬† Read more »

Text of the day

Russel Norman is determined to score a hit on John Key and has pledged to ask him question after question about Cameron Slater.

Yesterday a Black Ops operative ( Wellington branch ) ‘ obtained ‘ a copy of the following text.

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Photo Of The Day

Photograph by Ralph Crane for LIFE Magazine

Photograph by Ralph Crane for LIFE Magazine

The Real Jessica Rabbit

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The House Today #nzqt

Question time/Questions for oral answer starts at 2 pm today.

Questions to Ministers

  1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?
  2. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister for Social Housing: How many families with children have been subsidised through the Accommodation Supplement over the last six years to live at the Western Heights Caravan Park in Ranui she described as being not the right place “for children to be growing up in”?
  3. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister for Economic Development:What recent progress has the Government made on making it easier for Kiwi businesses to sell their products and services abroad?
  4. KELVIN DAVIS to the Minister of Police: Does he believe the Police decision not to prosecute the Roast Busters has resulted in justice for the girls involved?
  5. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister of Justice: Will she ask the Law Commission to resume its work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes in sexual violence cases in light of the decision by Police not to prosecute those involved in the Roast Busters case; if not, why not? Read more »