Red Alert

Archive for March, 2012

Huawei. Australia takes action. New Zealand says no issue here. Why?

Posted by on March 30th, 2012

This morning it has been revealed in the Australia/NZ tech publication Comms Day that:

The Australian Government has begun secret talks with carriers on proposals to enhance the security of Australia’s telecom infrastructure which would, in part, mandate a penalty-backed requirement on operators to secure their networks against external threats and require risk assessments of key infrastructure upgrades, modifications and procurement decisions.

CommsDay also understands that the government is highly concerned by the offshore dissemination of Australian citizens’ private data and calling information for use by customer service centres in locations such as India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. This could lead to a requirement for all data to be housed onshore. The recent discussions likely explain the timing of the revelation last Saturday that Huawei Technologies would be barred from supplying the National Broadband Network.

In recent weeks, representatives of major Australian operators were called to a confidential roundtable meeting with government officials from the Departments of Attorney-General and Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy to discuss the proposed measures. These include a notification process of infrastructure purchase decisions and upgrade or modifications to networks which may have national security implications. Infrastructure builds would potentially be subject to scrutiny or what is termed “risk assessment” under the arrangements with a key focus on details regarding suppliers. Existing infrastructure may also be subject to the reporting process.

The Prime Minister, the ICT Minister Amy Adams and her predecessor Steven Joyce are directly accountable for the actions and inaction of New Zealand to respond to warnings and advice from our security agencies.

The security and integrity of our telecommunications and new broadband infrastructure is a matter of utmost national importance. Cyber security is the new frontier and all countries take it extremely seriously. Despite the lip service paid to it by our government, it appears they have ignored advice and this may have the potential to undermine and compromise our infrastructure.

There are questions to be answered. John Key and Amy Adams must answer whether they received advice comparable to the advice given to Australia, when they received that advice and what actions they have taken since. Steven Joyce is also accountable in his former role as ICT Minister.

I am not party to the advice. But as the Opposition spokesperson for Communications and IT I am raising what I think are valid questions. Why has our approach to this issue been so markedly different to Australia’s? Surely alarm bells must be ringing in the government. What are they doing about it?

Yesterday I would have asked this question in the House to the Acting Prime Minister had Winston Peters not chosen to withdraw his question given John Key was not present.

Does he agree with The Australian newspaper’s Foreign editor Greg Sheridan who said today that if David Irvine, the head of ASIO, Australia’s intelligence service, and who is a former Australian ambassador to China,  had authorised a judgement to be cautious on Huawei, then it was certainly sound. And if so, did he receive the same advice and why hasn’t he acted on it?

It’s worth reading Greg Sheridan’s piece.

Paul Maley’s piece in The Australian is also worth reading . He revealed yesterday that:

BRITAIN’S intelligence services were forced to erect a costly, resource-intensive auditing structure to ensure Huawei did not steal secrets after the Chinese telco was allowed to take part in a British broadband project.

Given that New Zealand defence analyst Paul Buchanan has made some very strong statements in recent days about the importance of these issues the Prime Minister needs to answer this:

When did he become aware of what defence analyst Paul Buchanan has described as the “collective view of the security community”  in the US, Britain and Australia that Huawei is almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence services, and  what actions has he taken as a result of hearing this view?

Today, Australian PM Julia Gillard is reported as sticking up for Australia’s national interest. I wonder what ours is doing?

“I’ve stood up for Australia’s interest. I know the opposition is standing up for the interests of a Chinese company,” she said while in Sydney for an announcement on the NBN.

“We’ve made the decision in the national interest. Any suggestions this is in breach of our trade obligations is simply untrue.

“We’ve got a strong, robust relationship with China. We are deeply engaged at every level, we have a strong economic relationship, we have increasing ties at every level — diplomatic ties, multilateral ties, and you will continue to see our relationship with China strengthen and grow.”


Herald gutless but suspect should out himself

Posted by on March 29th, 2012

The Herald this morning reports that a former National MP is under investigation for assault.

A former National MP allegedly punched another customer in the face as shocked tellers looked on at an inner-city Wellington bank after an argument over a parking space.

Wellington police yesterday confirmed receiving a complaint from a man alleging he had been assaulted by another man on Monday last week in Courtenay Place. They said the incident was still under investigation.

Westpac spokesman Chris Mirams said there was an incident in the bank’s Courtenay Place branch that day and said Westpac was co-operating with the police.

The Herald has spoken to the victim of the alleged assault who said the incident arose from a disputed car park outside the bank.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said he had parked his car in a space outside the bank which another motorist had been intending to use. Words were exchanged, and while he was retrieving items from his car the other motorist, who had by that stage parked his vehicle elsewhere, tried to shut the car door on his legs.

Although “it didn’t really hurt at all”, the man said they exchanged further words when both were in the bank a few moments later.

However once the motorist completed his transaction “he just turned around and gave me a good old whack … a swinging right arm across the face”, the man said.

I’m not sure when former MPs deserve the protection that members of the public get while their cases are being investigated – but the problem with this story is that dozens of former MPs are implicated. While it is unlikely that Simon Power or Simon Upton were involved they are in that group of male former Nat MPs. I didn’t mention Don McKinnon because the suspect was driving and Don seems to be driven these days :)

The Herald should have named the suspect.

And if the suspect is on the Nat list John Key should get on the phone and tell him to do the decent thing.


Fingers in her ears

Posted by on March 29th, 2012

Is Amy Adams just doing what she’s told or does she have her fingers stuck firmly in her ears?

Perhaps she just genuinely doesn’t want to know the reasons for Australia refusing to allow Huawei to tender for its massive broadband supply contract because that would give her a massive headache and require her to do something about it.

The new ICT Minister  had this to say today:

The Minister responsible for overseeing the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband in New Zealand says it would not be appropriate for her to ask Australian authorities why they banned a Chinese company from working on an Australian project due to security fears, despite that company having won contracts to install broadband infrastructure here.

Read the rest here and watch how she says the same thing over and over again.


More News on Finland

Posted by on March 28th, 2012

Just in today – a ringing endorsement from the OECD that Finland does have something to learn from NZ.
“Finland could learn from programmes in New Zealand and Sweden that have boosted the flow of young professionals into preschool education and improved staff qualifications,” says the OECD Report.
Unfortunately, the National Government have dismantled the New Zealand programme which involved having a goal to reach 100% qualified staff by 2012 and providing funding for up to 100% qualified staff.
Now, that’s what John Key and Gerry Brownlee should be apologising for.
Sorry, Gerry. You won’t be able to use that as an example, either.


Black Friday Date for Asset Sell Off Submissions

Posted by on March 28th, 2012

Friday 13 April is the closing date for submissions to the committee considering the How Key wants to give our silver to his mates (aka Mixed Ownership Model) Bill.

The Committee has indicated a willingness to travel to hear submissions – so ask if you want to be heard either in your home city or in Wellington.

The link to the parliamentary site is here.


Time for a difficult conversation, again

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

End of Life Choice bill  (TVNZ Breakfast Show video from today)

I am preparing a bill which I am calling “End of Life Choice”. It arose out of a meeting in Nelson last year with a group of people who all want to be able to exercise the same control over the end of their lives as they are enjoying during their lives. It is as much about human rights as it is about dignity, autonomy and compassion.

Three levels of protection are necessary:

1 – for the patient or person themselves – from family who would either exploit them or overturn their wishes in extremis, and from insurance companies or anyone else who might exploit them;

2 – for any attending physicians, and there would need to be 2 – from any coercion to breach their own ethics or criminal liability if all procedures were observed;

3 – for any family members who assist in the final moments – from criminal liability.

The first time this was voted on was 1995 (Michael Laws’ bill), it was defeated 61-29. The second time, in 2003 (Peter Brown’s bill), it was defeated 60-57  and of the three who made the difference,  two did not vote  (John Tamihere and Heather Roy) and one abstained (Dail Jones). It will always be a conscience vote.

I think the time has come for this question to be revisited. I think the social conversation needs to happen again. I think the numbers would be different this time.

Am I right?


Children must not watch. The Finns on Brownlee

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

H/t TV3. Warning – this is not for kids to watch.

What the Finns think of Brownlee.


More on the Community Campaign Opposing Asset Sales: Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee Submissions due 12th April

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

The Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee has asked me to pass on this message:

The oral submissions to the Select Committee were held on the 22nd of March in the Johnsonville Community Centre and they were a great success. Approximately 10 people got to speak for roughly 5 minutes each. They highlighted concerns about the control we might lose of our assets after partial privatisation, and also pointed out the numerous alternatives to asset sales which this government is not pursuing.

Select Committee member John Maynard also spoke about the affects the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement may have on our control of privatised assets. With the possibility of companies sueing a government over action which is not in the companies’ interests then control over 51% of state assets does not seem effective. This has happened before under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Oil companies and tobacco companiesused NAFTA and threatened to sue the Canadian government over legislation which was not in the interests of the companies. In one case the Candian government had to repeal a piece of legislation and pay $12 million in damages to a large oil company.

If you still want to make a submission to the Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee you are very welcome to. The Committee is calling for all public submissions to be made by the 12th of April. This will allow the Committee to send a draft report as a submission on the Mixed Ownership Model Bill to a parliamentary committee on the 13th of April. Currently a final report is planned to be launched on the 28th of April.

Please send your 200 word submission, including your name and address, to
save.our.soes@hotmail.co.nz
or
Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee
P O Box 13 367, Johnsonville

Select Committee Member, John Maynard, speaking about the connections between state asset sales and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

A Catholic priest explains why he opposes asset sales.

A librarian explains why the government does not need to partially privatise state assets.

To find further information on the Citizens’ Select Committee, the issues discussed, or how to make a submission, please vist our blog at peoplespowernz.wordpress.com


Time to address super costs

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

The Guardian reports that a third of children born this year in the UK will live to be a hundred. Our life expectancy is similar.

And John Key continues to bury his head in the sand and say there is no issue.


Does the Commerce Commission have what it takes?

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

Twelve days ago the Commerce Commission announced an investigation, under Section 47 of the Commerce Act, as to whether the new pay TV platform Igloo, a deal between TVNZ and Sky, breaches merger rules.

It was, on the face of it, a show of independence from our competition watchdog, which states its core purpose as achieving the best possible outcomes in competitive and regulated markets for the long-term benefit of New Zealanders. Not monopolies, or big business, but New Zealanders.

Labour encouraged the Commerce Commission to extend its investigation beyond section 47, which deals only with acquisitions. We believe it should encompass all relevant parts of the Commerce Act, including section 27, as to contracts and arrangements substantially lessening competition.

Particularly relevant is the market power that Sky already has as it also owns Prime, a free to air channel, something many countries do not allow to happen. And it’s not only the possible stranglehold that Sky has on content delivery via the traditional broadcast distribution networks, but also via the  internet. This isn’t under investigation. Yet. Some might argue it should be.

The Commission’s investigation is not public. But it’s significant. The big question is will it use the opportunity to have a good look at the state of competition in the broadcasting (or video content) sector. In particular, whether the New Zealand consumer is being best served by the dominance of one or two large players in how they can receive video content via their TV screens and how that dominance is likely to flow on when we all start to connect our televisions to the internet via ultrafast broadband.

In many other countries consumers are able to command choice of providers of overseas content. In New Zealand we have Sky.

In Australia there is currently fierce debate over the  rules that keep major sports events on free-to-air TV. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is introducing a law to ensure the biggest games are accessible to all viewers. This is an extension to the existing anti-siphoning legislation in Australia. There is no such equivalent here and we are nowhere near even having that discussion.

We take what we’re given and if we complain we are told that there’s plenty of content on line. Consequently some consumers download their favourite shows and movies from the internet and watch on their computers, bypassing the bigger screen. Often illegally, as some shows aren’t available here via legitimate means. Most of our internet service providers now have deals with Sky.

There are two important issues at play. One is the issue of competition and encouraging other players in the market because that can only be good for consumers. The other is a cultural issue. That’s what anti-siphoning laws are really about – ensuring people get access to content that is cultural in nature and about who we are as NZers. That’s invariably sport.

There’s been a bit of discussion in the media in recent weeks about the alleged stanglehold that Sky has on our video content market. Chris Barton wrote in the NZ Herald that “suddenly internet providers all over New Zealand are providing unmetered plans for Sky’s video content. You can download unlimited data – as long as it’s Sky”.

Sarah Putt has written extensively in Computerworld on these issues with this piece and last week with this piece which took aim at the detail of the contracts between Sky and the ISPs.

The big question is whether Sky’s exclusive deals have the effect of preventing other contracts to provide online audiovisual content that compete against Sky. The Igloo deal with TVNZ is a means for the pay TV provider to capture another market at a lower entry price which can potentially be upgraded to a fuller service. Given the convergence of the internet and broadcasting environments this positions TVNZ and Sky to potentially dominate the market in coming years and could prevent other existing and new players providing competition.

The Igloo deal could just be the tip of the iceberg if it means that competitors like Netflix or Hulu can’t enter our market and do deals with internet service providers like Telecom, Vodafone, TelstraClear or Orcon because they’ve been locked out of the market by exclusive clauses in the contracts they have with Sky. Sky denies this.

A couple of year’s ago the dominance of Vodafone and Telecom in our telecommunications mobile phone market was challenged by new entrant 2 Degrees which invested millions, yet found itself squeezed out by the Auckland-centric monopoly of Vodafone and the Southern monopoly of Telecom. A broad alliance of consumer groups including students and farmers forced Commerce Commission intervention.

Labour consistently called for more fair competition in that market. Since then, the competition in the mobile phone market is  more robust, the consumers are getting a better deal and all three players are operating in the market.

Not so in the broadcasting space. We are about to lose TVNZ7, our only public broadcaster. TVNZ has become aggressively commercial and since its recent deals with Sky, has made a conscious decision to back away from calls for greater competition. Some might say they’ve been bought off.

Mediaworks (TV3), which is struggling, but still manages to produce quality content on a shoestring budget, is a voice for greater competition. Along with the ISPs and countless industry commentators. Recently some prestigious overseas commentators expressed surprise, even horror, at the skewed and monopolistic nature of our broadcasting, or content sector.

Last month Carleton University professor Dwayne Winseck told the Commerce Commission’s conference on the demand side of the fast fibre networks in Auckland that New Zealand was viewing its telco market through “rose tinted glasses” and needs to get real about data caps, peering issues and the dominance of Sky TV.

I don’t know about rose tinted glasses. I think it’s more that our head is buried firmly in the sand.

The recent articles in Computerworld including interviews with Sky CEO John Fellet pretty much confirm that the contracts between Sky and some telcos restrict net neutrality and arguably stifle competitors, but the Telecommunications Act might be read as excluding content considerations unless it’s video-on-demand. So the concern is to make sure that different parts of the Commerce Commission don’t expediently assume that the hot potato of audiovisual content markets is the other’s problem to deal with.

How the Commerce Commission treats this issue is important. There’s a lot of pressure from the big guns, particularly Sky, to keep our heads stuck in the sand. It seems the government concurs. The new ICT Minister is following Steven Joyce’s lead (instructions?) by insisting there’s no problem and we should continue to allow the skewed market to have its way.

They should be mindful of the metaphor of the boy who stuck his finger in the dyke.

In the meantime, many New Zealanders, frustrated by the lack of quality and up to date content through legal channels are increasingly turning to downloading via the internet.


Back Benches this week

Posted by on March 26th, 2012

PAY PERFORMANCE: Is pay for performance the best way to get the most from our teachers? How do we insure our teachers are the best they can be? Who determines what makes a good teacher? Should it good performance be based on test scores? And will charter schools be the way to lift achievement?

SPEAKING OF HIGH PAY…CEOs: Speaking of high pay—CEOs in the public sector are earning the big bucks. The average wage of bosses in the public sector is $340,000 while those running our state-owned energy companies are in the million dollar range. Are they getting paid too much? Should there be a limit how much those in the Public Sector can get paid? Or are high wages the only way to entice the best? Should CEOs earn more than the Prime Minister of our country?

Live pub politics from the Backbencher Pub: Wednesday 28th of March, 9:05pm and on TVNZ7

The Panel: Green Party Co-Leader Dr. Russel Norman, Labour MP Dr. Megan Woods, and National MP Scott Simpson.


McCully’s actions a disgrace

Posted by on March 25th, 2012

I’ve spent a bit of the weekend talking and thinking about Murray McCully. Its not something I choose to do that often! But bar for the Nick Smith saga last week, I think the actions of Murray McCully would have had a great deal more attention- and I am sure they will get that attention in the coming weeks.

Last week Murray McCully wrote a letter to the Chief Executive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade telling him that he opposed some of the changes he was proposing to the Ministry and describing various things he wanted to happen. The language was as media said “strongly worded”, and at times barbed.

This letter was then released to the media. Talking to former senior public servants no one could recall an action like this. It is a direct attack on a person who can not really respond.

Beyond that it is a farcical abdication of responsbility from McCully. He is the Minister. It is his government that gave the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade the target on finding $40 million (or $25 million as he claims) in cuts. It is not credible that the change programme in Foreign Affairs would have progressed to the point it did without McCully’s direct and continuing involvement. A Spokesperson for MFAT as good as confirmed that in the Dominion Post article linked above on Thursday.

the ministry has been “in discussions with Government throughout the process and they have provided clear direction on their priorities and expectations.

But McCully has tried to run for cover in the House and in the media, and dump all over John Allen. Now, it has to be said the way change process has been run has been disastrous. Many of the changes seem ill-thought out or just plain bizarre. Staff morale has collapsed. As I have said before I agree change was needed at MFAT, but this process has done far, far more harm than good.

John Allen and the senior leadership team at MFAT have to take their share of the blame for this. But so does Murray McCully. As the Sunday Star Times editorial (can’t find on-line) put it today his actions are a “disgrace”.


RIP Paul Callaghan

Posted by on March 24th, 2012

It’s impossible to overstate the contribution that Paul Callaghan has made to New Zealand as a scientist, teacher, innovator, conservationist, thinker, writer and promoter of ideas. He had a vision and a drive to share it.

Beyond this he was a wonderful, wise and funny human being. I am grateful for the legacy he has left New Zealand to dream big for our future as a country built on talent, ideas and protecting and enhancing our environment.

A man of courage who I was proud to know. Rest in Peace Paul.


Hate to say it, but in Australia…….

Posted by on March 23rd, 2012

As New Zealand workers face growing employer militancy with lockouts and demands for give-backs, Australia has been getting on with ensuring secure jobs and improving the pay and conditions of more vulnerable workers.

I’m really pleased to see that the Road Safety Remuneration Bill passed with a resounding vote in favour in the Senate.  It comes after a long running campaign to make roads safer for all users by taking the pressure from truckies to work long hours, take short cuts and scrimp on maintenance just to earn a living.

I tried to get an inquiry into NZ truck safety and its relationship with remuneration a couple of years ago, but was blocked by the National Party, despite evidence of a trucking nightmare in New Zealand.

The problem hasn’t gone away.  There is still one truck related death a week in New Zealand.  Many drivers are owner-drivers, so they have no employment rights, because they are in a commercial arrangement. Some do okay, but others are struggling. Other driving industries, such as the Courier Industry also face enormous pressure.

I just want to see people earn fair income for the work they do.

The other bill the Australian Senate passed this week is the Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Inudstry) Bill which extends most provisions of the Fair Work Act to contract outworkers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry by deeming them to be employees. Our legislation covers “Homeworkers” and deems them to be employees, which came about after serious exploitation of Homecare workers in the 1990′s and a major court decision.

It may be that we are ahead of Australia in this instance, but their legislation provides a good study on how we might tackle the ever increasing dependent contracting arrangements in New Zealand.

But wait…. does National care?


Is anyone listening over in the Beehive?

Posted by on March 22nd, 2012

While the media and commentators have focused on Nick Smith’s folly this week the housing crisis in Christchurch has barely got a mention. Add the problems Canterbury people are facing finding a place to live to the Auckland housing crisis and alarm bells ought to be sounding in the Beehive. All we can hear however is the sound of panic, polling and bottom minding! When they finally wake up to a real issue, many people would have joined the exodus to Australia, currently running at an all time high of 1000 a week.


Secret ballots and lockouts

Posted by on March 22nd, 2012

Auckland needs its Port to be working at full capacity again and yesterday I thought we might be getting there.

After Employment Court Judge Barrie Travis issued his minute late yesterday, it seemed like the damaging dispute could be settled, through a return to good faith bargaining and mediation processes under our employment law. 

Today we have the strange situation where the Ports workers want to go back to work, but apparently PoAL won’t let them. 

PoAL has issued notices of indefinite lockout which came less than 24 hours after they agreed with the Employment Court to resume good faith negotiations. 

But that notice doesn’t take effect until 14 days after the notice was issued. The workers are lawfully able to return to work in the meantime and I understand this was their intention.  If the Ports management prevent them, it will be an unlawful lockout.

Perhaps it was coincidence, but last night we debated the final committee stages of Tau Henare’s Secret Ballot for Strikes bill.  The Bill would require unions to conduct secret ballots wherever strike action was being considered. Most unions already do this, but there are real problems with this bill, which I won’t go into too much here.

Tau’s argument was that this was democratic. OK. But why should only one party to the employment relationship have to be democratic?  I proposed an amendment that would have provided more balance to the bill, which would have required shareholders to conduct a secret ballot before a lockout. 

So, in the case of the Ports of Auckland Ltd, the shareholders would have had to hold a ballot before the lockout notices were issued.  That would have been interesting indeed.

But of course the National Party and its cronies voted the amendment down, along with others that would have made the bill more workable.

Like so many things in the employment relationship, National believes that things should only go one way – and that’s definitely not in favour of workers.


Diabetics unite!

Posted by on March 21st, 2012

Pharmac has signed a provisional contract with an Auckland company to be the sole supplier of new glucose meters for diabetics. About 150,000 people are affected. Problem: no consumer testing – no backlight on the new one which is a bit tough when you are having a hypo event in the middle of the night; not enough memory to record history of blood sugar levels; batteries which conk out under 10C; sole supply out of Korea – the most stable peninsula we know? Tony Ryall is pressuring them to save $10 million through this contract. He ducked answering questions in the House today about this by exiting to comfort his upset mate, Nick Smith. Watch Campbell Live on TV3 tonight for this item.


Citizens’ Select Committee in Ohariu – Public Submissions Tomorrow Evening

Posted by on March 21st, 2012

On 1 March a community group called Ohariu People’s Power established a Citizens’ Select Committee. This Committee wants to hear the opinions of the New Zealand public on the asset sales debate and the international trade agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
The Committee was established because of the slim majority with which the government can pass legislation allowing the partial privatisation of state assets. A Bill paving the way for partial privatisation passed its first reading at Parliament last session by just one vote, that of Ohariu MP Peter Dunne. With this being the case the Committee has been formed around voters within Peter Dunne’s Ohariu electorate. However, the committee is asking for the opinions of everyone, as everyone has an interest in the outcome of the asset sales debate and the negotiations of a very influential trade agreement.
If you would like to have your say on these important issues you can email or post the Committee a 200 word message, including your name and address (this information will be kept private), explaining your feelings.
The email address is save.our.soes@hotmail.co.nz
The postal address is Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee
P O Box 13 367, Johnsonville, Wellington
You can also present your opinions to the Committee in person at 7:30pm on Thursday the 22nd of March,
at the Johnsonville Community Centre. You can email save.our.soes@hotmail.co.nz if you wish to present to the Committee in person.
To find out more about the Citizens’ Select Committee you can visit their blog at peoplespowernz.wordpress.com.
This is not a Labour Party initiative – I haven’t attended the group’s meetings – but the organisers have emailed me and asked me to publicise their work, which I support, and I am happy to do so.


iPredict this week

Posted by on March 21st, 2012

Key Points:
• Liberal Nationals look certain for victory in Queensland, but Campbell Newman is on slightly shakier ground in Ashgrove
• Early trading suggests Police will investigate NZ ACC scandal
• Stocks on new NZ Cabinet Minister launched after Nick Smith resigns
• Marmite rationing begins in New Zealand
• Coalition looks set to win the next Australian Federal election
• Winston Peters to be kingmaker after 2014 New Zealand election and Labour to lead Government
• Pengxin’s bid for Crafar Farms to be successful in May
• Fonterra payout predictions down over the next four years
• New bin for glass reclycling not expected for Aucklanders
(more…)

Filed under: ipredict

Nick Smith to go..?

Posted by on March 21st, 2012

Nick Smith has called a press conference for 1.45pm today. He has no option but to announce his resignation.

The question now is why John Key didn’t take decisive action earlier. He promised to set high standards for his ministers, yet yesterday he was claiming Smith had done nothing wrong.

As late as this morning Keywas reported as saying if he sacked every Minister who made an error of judgement he wouldn’t have many left. Hardly a way to show his confidence in his own team…

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Filed under: ACC