Labour MP Phil Goff looks unlikely to face prosecution for releasing a suppressed document about the suicide of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan.
Over the weekend, Mr Goff made public part of the Court of Inquiry report into the death of Corporal Doug Hughes, which he says reveals “critical deficiencies in the training and deployment of Kiwi troops”. Read more »
Phil Goff has breached suppression orders in releasing secret Army documents. I hope the Police and Solicitor-General take as much interest in prosecuting Phil Goff as they did in prosecuting me.
Labour MP Phil Goff appears to have broken the law by releasing pages from a suppressed Court of Inquiry report into the death of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan.
Mr Goff has released part of the report into the death of Corporal Doug Hughes which he says reveals “critical deficiencies in the training and deployment of Kiwi troops”.
In February, Coroner Gordon Matenga released his report into Cpl Hughes’ death in April 2011, ruling it was a suicide, and an inquest was not necessary.
All other details of the report were suppressed, “including the report of the Court of Inquiry, in the interests of justice and on the basis of personal privacy”. Read more »
After performing un-natural acts of praise at the start of his post Brian Edwards went on to pass judgement on today’s politicians:
Where the two major parties are concerned ‘tired’ is the word that most readily springs to mind. The tone is set by their leaders. Shearer is plain dull. And, in the sense of something that was once shiny but has now lost its gloss, ‘dull’ will do fine for Key as well. I look at both of them and long for a Kirk, a Muldoon, a Lange or a Clark. I’d even settle for a Holyoake, Bolger or Shipley – leaders with personality.
And the front bench pickings are meagre as well. Tedium thy name is Steven Joyce, all too ably assisted by Gerry Brownlee, Bill English, Jonathan Coleman, Phil Heatley et al.
Labour does not fare any better – dull, dull, dull.
Ouch…but who catches Brian’s eye?
The notable exceptions in both major parties are women Judith Collins in National, Annette King in Labour. Both strong, both intelligent, both charismatic. Collins will almost certainly be Prime Minister of New Zealand one day; King should have led the Labour Party, but didn’t want it – a minor tragedy in my view for the party and the country.
Then back to the boring:
There is in fact no shortage of forceful, charismatic women in Parliament; it’s the men who are the drones. Pondering suicide, Hamlet observes, ‘How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!’ Which is more or less how I feel watching Joyce or Brownlee on television. Could anyone be more lacking in verve, more mind-numbingly dreary? Well, let’s not forget Peter Dunne.
And the gender pattern is continued among the Greens. Yes, Russell Norman is both intelligent and articulate, but his flat, Aussie delivery and lack of perceptible warmth pale against the energy, vitality and passion of his co-leader Metiria Turei.
So who does that leave to rouse and inspire us, to infuse us once again with zest and enthusiasm for Parliament and politics? Where is the joker in this pack of dullards? Where he’s always been of course: hiding behind his naughty boy smile, up to no good, and waiting to steal all the pies.
Three cheers for Winston! Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.
Oh god, poor old Brian Edwards has fallen for the wily old tricks of the infirm and bewildered Winston Peters.
Up to 26 Afghan interpreters will be given asylum in New Zealand when Kiwi troops withdraw from Bamiyan next April.
A spokesman for Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said Cabinet agreed on Monday to offer the interpreters a resettlement package in New Zealand.
The details will be released next week when Dr Coleman returns from a visit to the Middle East.
The interpreters, working with the Provincial Reconstruction Team, are being notified of their packages.
Including the interpreters’ families, 75 Afghans would come to New Zealand.
Prime Minister John Key said earlier this month he was sympathetic to Afghan interpreters working with Kiwi troops who say their lives will be in danger.
The interpreters have said their work over a long period has made their identities known to insurgents, putting them at risk after New Zealand leaves the region.
The Afghan translators used by our forces there have made an impassioned plea:
More than two dozen Afghan interpreters working for New Zealand troops in Bamiyan province are pleading with the Government not to abandon them to “certain death” when the troops withdraw next year.
One interpreter was so concerned about his fate he said he would ask Kiwi soldiers to shoot him and his family rather than be left to the Taleban.
There are 26 Afghan interpreters working for the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan.
They are “hoping and praying” they will be granted asylum in New Zealand, believing they will be captured, tortured and slaughtered by insurgent forces, along with their families.
High-level government discussions to protect the interpreters are under way and the Sunday Star-Times understands a decision will be announced soon.
The offices of Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman released statements to the Star-Times saying the “PRT interpreters’ concerns about their safety following the withdrawal of the PRT in April 2013″ were acknowledged.
Give it to them. Give every single one of them asylum, and their families too.
Subject to the usual security chexks, they all deserve asylum.
Bill Frezza says that unions have reached their high water mark. After Wisconsin perhaps Jonathan Coleman could have a crack at the PSA here. They are National’s enemy and need a good going over. The pity is that Coleman is one of National’s wets, and had to almost hand in his man card after going squirrelly on the Crafar farm deal and so it is unlikely he would man-up to take on the PSA. I wonder of John Key might like to ask Tony Ryall to take on this special project?
Public sector unions have reached their high water mark. Let the cleanup begin as the red ink recedes.
Despite a last-minute smear campaign accusing Scott Walker of fathering an illegitimate love child, the governor’s recall election victory sends a clear message that should resonate around the nation: The fiscal cancer devouring state budgets has a cure, and he has found it. The costly defeat for the entrenched union interests that tried to oust Walker in retribution for challenging their power was marked by President Obama’s refusal to lend his weight to the campaign for fear of being stained by defeat. We’ll see how well this strategy of opportunistic detachment serves in the fall as Obama reaches out to unions for support.
The whole front page about Jonathan Coleman’s underpants?
What a load of bollocks.
How is this newsworthy?
Report on dodgy spending not normal spending and save yourself from being embarrassed like you were with your stupid headline of yesterday saying Key is moaning about the press.
No wonder the busiest department at the Herald is the subscriptions department…handling cancellations.
The government has approved the sale of the Westpac Farms formerly owned by the Crafar Family to Shanghai Pengxin. It looks like Coleman found his testicles after all:
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson and Associate Finance Minister Jonathan Coleman this morning announced they had approved the new recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to grant consent to the Chinese-owned Milk New Zealand Holding Limited to acquire the 16 Crafar farms.
Fay said the decision was “wrong” and not good for the economy.
“It shows the Government has no commitment to the people who live and work in the rural sector. Sixteen dairy farms – an area the size of Hamilton – and a minimum $20 million per year of Fonterra milk payouts are lost to the Central North Island economy for good.
On the flip side, a Chinese official says Kiwis should “be happy” that foreigners want to buy land and invest here.
Good stuff…I imagine Fay will now spit the dummy and try and sue again so he can get a cheap deal.
More than a quarter of senior civil servants have quit or been axed under the Cameron government int he UK. I’d consider that a good start with a must try harder. If only Jonathan Coleman could do the same here, but if he is too busy being squirrelly over the Crafar Farm decision he is hardly likely to go toe to toe with the PSA.
Civil service unions said the high rate of turnover was because of low morale. Many of the senior civil servants will have gone into lucrative jobs in the private sector.
The biggest outflow was from Eric Pickles’ Department for Communities and Local Government, where 43 per cent of top civil servants have left.
Mr Pickles has been praised by senior Tories for the way he has tried to cut back aggressively on waste and Whitehall bureaucracy.
Other departments that have seen a big turnover of their most senior staff include Transport – 37 per cent – Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department – 35 per cent – and the Department for Work and Pensions – 35 per cent.
The figures were obtained from a series of parliamentary questions tabled by Gareth Thomas MP, the shadow Cabinet Office minister.
They showed that 1,009 out of 3,700 senior civil servants – 27 per cent of the total number- left since the May 2010 election, whose pay bands range from Senior Civil Service grade 1 to permanent secretary grade.
They show that HM Treasury has lost 30 per cent of its staff, which Mr Thomas said was worrying given the loss of institutional experience from the financial crisis.
Good to see that our troops will be visited by 76 US military personnel for the forst combat exercises in 27 years:
New Zealand’s defence ties with the United States are set to reach a new milestone with the arrival of 76 US military personnel for the first combat-focused joint exercise on New Zealand soil in more than 27 years.
And New Zealand’s defence ties with Nato are also high on the Government’s agenda with talks scheduled at the Beehive today with Nato’s top military man, US Admiral Jim Stavridis, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.
The Defence Minister, Jonathan Coleman, last night announced the joint military exercise involving 35 US Marines and 41 US Army personnel to take part in an exercise dubbed Alam Halfa, after a World War II battle in Egypt in 1942.
Since the accelerated friendship between New Zealand and the US was announced in the Wellington Declaration 16 months ago, joint exercises have stepped up. But until now they have had a humanitarian or non-combat focus.
Exercise Alam Halfa marks the first traditional military exercise since the reprisals against New Zealand for its anti-nuclear legislation included a ban on joint exercises, without a special waiver.The exercise will involve about 1500 Defence Force personnel and begin in Linton the day after Anzac Day, ending in Waiouru 10 days later. The frigate Canterbury will also be involved at Napier.
US Ambassador David Huebner said the “centrepiece” of the year would be in June when US Marines, including a Marine band, would visit New Zealand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces to help to defend the South Pacific in World War II.