Fiji

Is spying wrong?

Is spying wrong?

Well not when it is the left-wing doing it to political opponents, and using criminals to enable it.

But widely, no it is not. I almost never agree with Michael Field, especially over Fiji, but this may well be a watershed moment for both of us because I happen to agree with his column the other day about the spying revelation of Nicky Hager.

It is not paradise out there in the South Pacific and while our friendly neighbourhood might be democratic and understand rugby’s off-side rule, corruption, self-interest and idiocy stalks their capitals.

And dangerously surprising things like coups, civil war and mutinies happen, and they have a real and direct impact on New Zealand.

The Snowden Papers suggest spying in the South Pacific is something new, but the reality is that we have been spying on Pacific countries for decades.

Back in 1914 London asked New Zealand soldiers to invade German Samoa. We said yes, but asked if they could give us some details of German defences. London replied we would look it up in an encyclopaedia.

These days acting like that is not on.

Time-shift to today and pick a Pacific country that suddenly finds itself with people being killed, buildings on fire and assorted bad people breaking into police armouries – as happened in the Solomon Islands.

New Zealand’s Special Air Service was on the way to save lives – what are they expected to do for useful intelligence, Google it?

As open as Pacific states can seem to be, it takes specialist knowledge and focus to know who the real players are.

Mobile phone metadata does not provide that.

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The delusions of the left

Greg Presland writes at The Standard:

 I wondered about this because I have spent time in Western Samoa and Rarotonga since 2009 and I used local telecommunications to keep up with work and politics in Aotearoa.  The thought that this information has been sent to the Americans is somewhat scary.

What planet are these morons on?

He is scared that his innocuous communications as the trustee of David Cunliffe secret donation laundering fund might have been sent to the Americans? Or ringing his flea law office to see if another divorce case has walked in the door?

The man, if you can call him that is deluded.

No one, let alone the Americans are interested in his communciations.

Hells teeth, everyone knows I supported Frank Bainimarama and that I went to Fiji three times in two years to meet and understand the political situation in the land of my birth.

Did I communicate with people on the phone or internet about it?  Of course I did.

Am I worried the GCSB might have listened in and passed my brilliant political analysis of the situation in Fiji onto the Americans or shock horror to John Key? No I am not. I doubt anyone cares.   Read more »

Why are the Aussies surprised at their snubbing in Fiji?

It seems the Aussies are still up to their old tricks.

This morning’s Fiji Sun has a story which may give us an insight as to what awaits NZ and how we will handle what is likely to be the same treatment at  the Waitangi Day celebrations next week in Suva.

Top Government and Judiciary members conspicuously stayed away from the Australia Day celebrations in Suva last night.

It underscored continuing concerns in Suva over attitudes of Australian diplomats here, including High Commissioner Margaret Twomey, well informed sources said.

Among those not at the high commission’s function were Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Chief Justice Anthony Gates.

All were invited and all were in town.

It came at the end of a day when Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had warmly praised Fiji in a message published only by the Fiji Sun. But in marked contrast High Commissioner Twomey same time barely mentioned Fiji in a message published by both daily newspapers.

This reemphasised concerns of a chasm in attitude towards Fiji. This is between the warmth of Ms Bishop – potentially Australia’s next Prime Minister – and hardline bureaucrats and diplomats working in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

These are the people who drove the now widely discredited failed Australian policy of trying to isolate Fiji.   Read more »

Merry Christmas – My Christmas Message

Whale Oil Blogger Cameron Slater Portrait Session

Last night Pete joked that I should do a Christmas message for all the readers and commenters.

It nagged away at me, damn you Pete…

But seriously folks I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

It has been a pretty tough year, It started really with a criminal act, the take down of the server and the hacks of my emails and social media.

Little did I know at the time what the left-wing had planned and executed.

It all unfolded as I was flying from Fiji to Seoul and when I landed at Incheon airport my phone went nuts.

I was overnighting there on my way to Israel via Paris. I put in place a plan and spoke with my friends and planned our response. I got 3 hours sleep and the next morning I was on a plane to Paris.

Can you imagine the stress I was under?

I didn’t have all the information, I had a deluge of emails and messages, plus there was a campaign underway to try and rack up my phone bills by people calling me and hanging up…there were literally hundreds of those.

Sitting on the plane to Paris was excruciating, totally out of contact, worrying about my friends who were under attack as well, and especially worrying about my family under siege by scumbag journalists doorstepping my wife and kids.

Same with the flight into Tel Aviv from Paris.

It was a rolling storm and I was half a world away and 9 hours behind in  a very strange land.

The next night there I was standing on a balcony in Tel Aviv with the city behind me talking on breakfast TV in New Zealand while it was midnight in Israel.    Read more »

Lessons not learned from Auckland

Yay! Wellington will follow my lead

Yay! Wellington will follow my lead

Wellingtonians appear to be dumber than a bag of hammers, at least the idiots at the Local Government Commission who have issued a report suggesting that Wellington could benefit from a Super City arrangement.

Have they not learned a thing from Auckland?

Goodbye Wellington, hello Greater Wellington – the capital is set to become a super-city.

The long-awaited draft recommendation from the Local Government Commission has found that the Wellington’s nine councils should unite into one council named Greater Wellington Council.

Key points of the proposed model are:

* One mayor elected at large heading a council made up of 21 members from eight wards – Rongotai, Lambton, Ohariu, Porirua-Tawa, Kapiti Coast, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wairarapa.

That council would be responsible for high-level, region-wide matters.

* Each ward would then also have a local board with between six to 10 elected members which would be responsible for local decisions.

* Two councillors would also be appointed to each board.     Read more »

Face of the day

Pippa Doyle

Pippa Doyle

One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.

Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.

Apiata was in the audience as Pippa – otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle – received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).

 DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.


DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

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Time to say goodbye to local government?

It is fast becoming time raise the prospect that Local Government is an outdated form of bureaucracy and should be dissolved in favour of simple asset management organisations that deal with infrastructure.

Local Government was fine 80 years ago and perhaps it is sufficient to argue that it was fine in the 80’s when typewritten letters were still in use. But as technology has advanced so have the manners in which we behave. Business is now able to remotely operate in all parts of the world with a single head office creating huge efficiencies and savings in cost.

For a country of four million people and five major cities the question has to be asked as to why we have 30 odd local government jurisdictions. All of which are repeating the same processes and tasks albeit rather poorly.

The amalgamation of Auckland has raised the spectre that perhaps Local Government is simply too inefficient and consumed with inward navel gazing whilst dreaming wistfully of utopian paradises. Auckland Council is a dysfunctional and toxic environment that is bloated, heavily in debt and unable to perform its functions and duties.

Rather than labour through the pain of birthing even more of these monstrosities perhaps its time to suggest that we don’t need Local Government at all.

Rather what we need is simple municipal organisations that are responsible for and manage infrastructure. In Auckland Watercare Services is an excellent example of the structure implied. Its responsibility is to manage water and sewerage infrastructure. Pretty easy. Auckland Transport – whilst somewhat confused about what it does, can easily deal with roads and trains and buses.

And one to manage parks.  Read more »

Parliament opens in Fiji

Fiji’s new democratically elected government has sat in parliament for the first time, and the Speaker has been elected.

The new Fiji parliament is in the old renovated parliament buildings, it has had a full makeover in preparation for the return to democracy. Astonishing that none of the media in New Zealand and people like David Farrar were constantly saying the government had no intention of holding elections and returning to democracy, when anyone who bothered to go to Fiji could see for themselves all the preparations for the return, like the makeover of the Old Parliament buildings.

SODELPA even tried to use the renovations to denigrate the PM by stating the dome on the clock tower was signifying that Fiji was to become a Islamic nation governed by Sharia law, despite the fact the dome has always been there and was only more visible after a good water blast and cleaning job.

Dr Jiko Luveni, the former Minister for Women in the Bainimarama Government was nominated and appointed today as the Speaker to the House of Parliament.

Dr Jiko Luveni being escorted to the Speaker's Chair

Dr Jiko Luveni being escorted to the Speaker’s Chair

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If brains were dynamite…

If brains were dynamite Ro Teimumu Kepa wouldn’t have enough to blow her nose.

Snippy old Sally Rounds of Radio NZ interviews her keyboard.

Fiji’s main opposition party has pledged to move a motion to launch a parliamentary inquiry into last week’s election.

The leader of Fiji’s main opposition party, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Opposition parties claim they have evidence of irregularities, including ballot box tampering, broken seals and extra materials in boxes.

The leader of the Sodelpa party, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says a bipartisan, independent parliamentary inquiry needs to be launched into aspects of the election, where the public can be given the opportunity to come forward and give evidence.

“This will be the first test of transparency and accountability for the Bainimarma government. If their victory is legitimate then they have nothing to fear from such an inquiry.”

Ro Teimumu Kepa says the evidence is being collated into a report for the National Executive Committee.

A preliminary report by the multinational observer group has said the elections were credible.

Read more »

Could Murray McCully sort out his idiot department over Fiji please

Fiji has had the election that was promised, it was declared free and fair by international observers but still New Zealand continues to insult Fiji via MFaT.

Frank Bainimarama has been sworn in after being democratically elected and still MFaT is meddling with advisories.

On MFaT’s Safe Travel website they state:

Fiji

And these words of warning:

Some government departments and statutory authorities are still headed by ex-military personnel.  The government also has a degree of influence over the judiciary and some media outlets remain cautious about reporting anti-government views.

The security situation in Fiji is currently stable, however the elections and process of formation of a new government may result in increased political tensions. New Zealand citizens throughout Fiji are advised to be security conscious at all times and to avoid any demonstrations, large gatherings and areas of military activity.

What a load of horse shit. Frankly that is insulting.  Read more »