The government of New Zealand are being accused of legislating by stealth by tearing down local protections that prohibit GMOs and GE Trees.
The proposed National Environment Standard on Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) would loosen restrictions on genetically modified pine trees and force councils to remove wording around genetically engineered trees from their policies and plan changes.
Whangarei District Council team leader of futures planning Kerry Grundy said the GMO
provisions seemed to have come “all of a sudden”.
“People are saying: why have you slipped this in? It’s overriding what councils want to do. If we have provisions around GM pine trees – which we do at the moment – we will have to take them out,” he said.
Read the full article from the Northern Advocate here.
via Stealth legislation on GE Trees in New Zealand? – Global Justice Ecology Project.
Why I returned my 2014 Lecturer of the Year (College of Business and Law) award.
…Now, to my reasons for returning my award. The University of Canterbury is a wonderful organisation and I have enjoyed my time here more than any other appointment I have had. I am supported in my teaching and research as well as have great friends here. However, there is an underbelly of hate that raises its head from time to time. My earliest experience of this came in my first semester of teaching at UoC when I was reading the anonymous feedback from students. In the section where it asked “what should be changed to improve the course” one student wrote “his ethnicity”. I’ve been brown all my life, so I’m used to racism. Whether it’s the ignorant throwaway comment or the overtly aggressive act, I’ve seen it and experienced it and I know one day my daughters will see it and experience it. This is why I’m taking a stand. Because I don’t want my girls to live in a world where hate exists and I know I’ve done nothing to try and stop it….
Sick of hearing about dirty politics? Me, too. During the campaign I started to take note of allegations that came to light after publication of Nicky Hagers book of the same name, but stopped because I was running out of bandwidth.To name a few, major and minor: possible involvement by Judith Collins in efforts to undermine the head of the SFO, which may or may not have been what led to her resignation; manipulation of figures over gang involvement in crime; the PMs apparent pre-knowledge of a private advertisement in the Press that put the Government in a favourable light; the extraordinary revelations made in Auckland Town Hall by the worlds top three whistle-blowers, Glen Greenwald, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, about our involvement in mass surveillance, overshadowed of course by the Kim Dotcom debacle.Then we learned Solid Energy had kept from the Pike River families news that the mine had been assessed as safe to enter a year ago, which, given the amount of time and effort the PM and senior Cabinet ministers had put into the issue, had serious embarrassment implications for the Government.At the very least, all this shows there is something wrong at the heart of the administration. This is not the New Zealand way of doing things. At whatever level this behaviour is known about and sanctioned, its eradication needs to come from the top to have any chance of restoring our faith in our most important institutions.One reason a lot of voters discounted the dirty politics revelations was that they were too much to absorb. Just as we got our heads around one piece of blatant cynicism another popped up to take its place. It was easier to dismiss it on the grounds that “all politicians do it”. Anyone who believes that clearly has no idea just how odious “it” is in this case.All politicians do it a bit, but not this systematically, cynically and extensively. It is impossible to know that and not be appalled.And although it suits the Government for you to believe so, “everybody” has not always done it. Any evidence to the contrary would be most welcome.And following the election, what has the Government done to allay our fears about the sort of culture it is using to run the country? It has said: “Hey, look over there — a new flag.”The most appropriate design for a new flag would be a plain red one, to ensure that the warnings of recent weeks are not ignored.The end of the election campaign must not be the end of efforts to restore faith in the integrity within limits, of course — no one is expecting miracles of our leaders.Lets hope we will be able to look back on September 20 and see it as the end of the beginning.
via Paul Little: Flag debate shields dirty House – Politics – NZ Herald News.
This story comes with a warning: there are authorities who would much rather we were not writing this, let alone have you read it.It traverses areas they believe threaten “the maintenance of the law” in this country. It concerns a man they have gagged. You have probably heard of him, but you have never heard from him, and the state has deemed that as far as its concerned, thats the way it should be for the rest of his life.His name is Teina Pora.In November, his case will make history at the Privy Council, where his legal team, led by Jonathan Krebs and Ingrid Squire, will argue that he has been wrongly convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett. It is likely to be the last criminal case from New Zealand that the London-based court will hear.When permission for the appeal was granted in January, Justice Minister Judith Collins said the decision showed the system was working “very well”. Really?This is a system which saw Pora spend 21 years in prison. A system in which his case lay neglected without anyone making an effort to question its myriad flaws until four years ago when private investigator Tim McKinnel took it upon himself to start digging. Its a system McKinnel, Krebs and Squire have battled, often without funding, to get to the Privy Council. A system with a lattice of secrets and stone-walling that have made their task – and the medias – frustrating, to say the least. And a system which has deemed that Pora should be denied one of the most basic human rights – freedom of speech.
via Why was Teina Pora gagged? – crime – national | Stuff.co.nz.
“New Zealand’s economy has been hailed as one of world’s top safe-haven economies in recent years after it emerged from Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, my research has found that many of today’s so-called safe-havens (such as Singapore) are experiencing economic bubbles that are strikingly similar to those that led to the financial crisis in the first place.
Though I will be writing a lengthy report about New Zealand’s economic bubble in the near future, I wanted to use this column to outline key points that are helpful for those who are looking for a concise explanation of this bubble.”
via 12 Reasons Why New Zealand’s Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster – Forbes.
The “invisible hand” of the market, first conceived in the Enlightenment but coupled at that time with notions of justice, human dignity and “the rights of man”, has failed to deliver prosperity and happiness, in New Zealand as elsewhere.
The problem, it seems, is a loss of balance. In the pursuit of profit, everything in the world – the earth itself, other species, knowledge and indeed, other people – has been turned into a “resource” to be exploited, often without care or conscience.
In the process, ideas of justice, truth and the common good have been undermined. Without these bulwarks, democracy falters, capitalism fails to share wealth and the distribution of income shifts dangerously out of kilter.
via Dame Anne Salmond: We could do with a change of heart – Opinion – NZ Herald News.
For months, Prime Minister John Key has been trying to turn down the political thermostat on his plans to confer on the GCSB as an organization and himself as its Minister vastly expanded powers to spy on New Zealanders. According to the government’s spin, the 180 degree change to the GCSB’s role as set out in the new, proposed legislation currently before Parliament is merely a bit of parliamentary housekeeping of an allegedly unclear legal situation.That spin is blatantly untrue. Section 14 of the existing law and the bipartisan will of Parliament at the time it was passed are crystal clear on this matter – the GCSB was forbidden to carry out domestic spying, which was to remain the sole province of the SIS. Yes, the very same National Party that made such a fuss about the Nanny State while in Opposition is now expanding the ability of the surveillance powers of Big Government. And, in the process, the GCSB that unilaterally broke the law meant to govern its activities is being rewarded by having those transgressions legalized.
via Gordon Campbell on Kim Dotcom at Parliament tomorrow | Scoop News.