Police who planned the highly-publicized raid on internet tycoon Kim Dotcom’s Helensville mansion have been forced to admit in court that threat levels were not high & claimed justifications for the raid not actually supported by evidence.
The 90-officer raid, featuring two helicopters & heavily armed police of the Special Tactics Group, vastly exceeds even raids on drug-houses with armed gang members. (Such raids typically executed with 30-35 police, and 1 helicopter.)
Beyond the fact that Kim Dotcom is not himself an internet pirate, nor even accused of being one — but merely alleged to have facilitated it, by failing to remove infringing content fast enough, this case moves into the incompetent & bizarre. Continue reading
Two New Zealand soldiers have been killed and another six injured during a battle with insurgents in Afghanistan, in an incident that has rocked New Zealand’s small defense-forces community.
While it is important for NZ to contribute to coalition forces, the long-term stability of Afghanistan and benefit to that country remain uncertain. Continue reading
Having only recently come out of recession, NZ society is struggling. Everyday headlines report job losses, bullying, crime, alcoholism & benefit dependency.
But — are these just part of the recession? Or are they problems, already existing since the early 90′s, and just getting progressively worse? Continue reading
Asset Sales are promoted by many, as “paying our way” or “reducing our debts”. Does NZ have an overseas borrowing problem, and are asset sales really a sensible strategy to deal with it?
Advocates claim that sellling up to 49% of NZ’s power companies — Meridian, Mighty River, Genesis Energy — as well as coal company Solid Energy, and part of Air New Zealand — will produce cash for investment in schools, hospitals & transport projects.
However, the real question is — does this even make sense? Continue reading
Scientists have created new synthetic compounds, mimicking DNA to store & copy genetic information.
In a major advance, these artificial systems can be made to evolve in the lab, according to study co-author John Chaput of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Continue reading
Taranaki iwi, Ngati Tama, have lost almost their entire settlement money — nearly $14.5 million.
Yesterday, SFO chief executive Adam Feeley confirmed that matters concerning the Te Runanga o Ngati Tama charitable trust have been referred to the office.
Ngati Tama’s former chief executive Greg White has been uncontactable this week, since news broke. At his house yesterday, reporters were told he was out of town. Continue reading
Since the ‘Leaky Homes’ problem began in the mid-90′s, tens of thousands of failed buildings have been constructed; and billions of dollars wasted due to water leakage & damage.
Neither the Labour Government under Helen Clark, nor the National Government current, have taken effective action to fix the problem. Fixing this requires a financial path forward, for repairs to be made.
Paul Holmes and others (United Future leader Peter Dunne) are again, calling for Erebus pilots to be exonerated — or the official crash report revisited.
In NZ’s biggest ever air disaster, 257 people were killed.
This had been a routine scenic flight, following a well-used course down McMurdo sound, before descending to give passengers a scenic view of the Antarctic volcanos. Continue reading
Having pointed out ‘gold’ as an over-hyped & dangerously over-popularized financial product for some time now, the SFO is now looking into a major gold dealer on TV.
As the adage says, when shoe-shine boys give stock tips, or finance companies/products advertise on TV — be wary. Very wary. Only the uninitiated & naive buy in, at this stage. If they can’t raise money from established investors — !!. Continue reading
For those with Republican views — Anthony Hubbard of the Sunday Star Times — sure, it sounds reasonable. It sounds like an idea. But, is it at all a good idea? Or, a very very bad one.
Britain survived the Second World War, came back from disaster, survived the Blitz of nightly bombings, and defeated Hitler. Without their royal family, Britain would not have held together.
Witness the disastrous factional, polarized nature of US politics. Or the instability of countless African states. Where ‘President’ is a trophy & source of conflict — not an institution, or source of stability.