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Features

GCSB Spies break laws

in

Today, PM John Key announced that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) unlawfully intercepted Kim Dotcom and others in the Megaupload case.

Key says the Crown has filed a memorandum in the High Court in the Megaupload case advising the Court and affected parties that the GCSB had acted unlawfully while ‘assisting’ the cops to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case. The GCSB had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority.

Updates: DotCom snooping more evidence GCSB is not under control | Crown Law also Dotcom lawbreakers?

National Day of Action Against Welfare Reforms

in

Beneficiaries who have had enough of the attacks on them by this government will be picketing Work and Income (WINZ) offices across the country in a national day of action.

The National Day Of Action Against Welfare Reform is being called for Friday October 5 by the Facebook group Occupy WINZ. The group is coordinating with people and organisations across New Zealand  who oppose the governments agenda for welfare reform and are calling for people to join in protests on the day.

Details of events are being coordinated in towns and cities throughout the country and will be posted on the National Day Of Action Against Welfare Reforms page as they are organised.

Deep sea oil: Anadarko drill confirmed

in

Houston-based oil giant Anadarko has committed to test-drilling three deep sea oil wells in Canterbury and Taranaki in 14 months. Anadarko, who owned 25% of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that spilled millions of barrels of oil last year, are planning to drill at sea-depths of up to 1500 metres in what can only be described as a recipe for disaster.

John Key’s real Nanny State

in

The ‘Nanny State’ is a term frequently used by right-wingers to decry state regulation of big business, particularly in relation to workers rights and environmental destruction. The negative association with women, and mothers in particular, is a frequent tool of the right.

New dawn for dawn raids

in

Immigration officers have spent two weeks training at the NZ Police College to exercise new powers to enter premises and detain people for deportation under the Immigration Act. There is no guarantee that there will not be a return to the racist ‘dawn raids’ of the 1970s in which Pacific Island communities particularly in South Auckland were subjected to violent early morning raids as police searched for overstayers.

Major Biotech Conference in NZ next week

in

Monsanto and DuPont vice presidents of biotechnology and agricultural biotechnology respectively are among the keynote speakers at a major international biotech conference in Rotorua next week (Sept 2-6). The 12th International Conference for Agricultural Biotechnology will include some New Zealand genetic engineers giving presentations.

While not all biotech involves genetic engineering, Organic NZ anticipates that a number of speakers and attendees will be promoting GE as the solution to our agricultural problems, when in fact it will only create more problems. Organic farming is the clean, green, sustainable solution.

Tame and Rangi denied bail

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Today, the Court of Appeal issued a judgment on the second bail application of Tame Iti and Rangi Kemara, two of the 'Urewera 4' who were jailed for 2.5 years for firearms convictions on 24 May this year. The Court denied their application for bail.

The substantive decision of the Court of Appeal on both the convictions and the sentences for all four people - Tame, Rangi, Urs and Emily - is still forthcoming.

Open letter to South African President Jacob Zuma

in

Kia ora President Zuma,

Many New Zealanders who demonstrated so strongly against the apartheid system in the 1970s and 1980s have watched with growing alarm at the direction the ANC leadership has taken South Africa since the first democratic election in 1994.

The events of the last week culminating in the massacre of 34 striking mineworkers with dozens injured is the inevitable outcome of the ANC choice to follow free-market economic policies which wherever and whenever they have been employed in human history they have always transferred wealth from the poor to the rich and stripped hope from the majority.

War is peacekeeping: three more dead soldiers in Afghanistan

in

Yesterday, three more New Zealand soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Bamiyan province, in the north of the country. The soldiers were part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), which has been in country since 2003. The deaths of these soldiers is not a surprise, rather it is surprising that more NZ soldiers haven’t been killed in more than 10-years of combat deployment to Afghanistan which started with SAS and Navy Frigate deployments in October 2001 immediately after 9/11.

Billy Apple, John Pule and Michel Tuffery join impressive list of contributing artists

in

The list of contributors donating work to the Artists Fundraiser Auction which is taking place in Auckland next week in order to raise funds for the appeal of Taame Iti and Rangi Kemara, has grown to include three big names from the New Zealand art scene. Contemporary artist Billy Apple has gifted a work entitled “Study of a New Zealand Flag” which is based on data from the 2006 Statistics New Zealand Census.