Female New Zealand MPs ejected from Parliament for talking about their sexual assault


NZ Prime Minister John Key is a racist blowhard who has smeared the opposition parties of "backing the rapists" for their support of NZ citizens with minor criminal convictions (not sexual assault, incidentally) being deported from Australia, where they have been imprisoned. Read the rest

New Zealand's lost colossus: all-mechanical racetrack oddsmaking computer


In 1913, George Julius installed a building-sized, all mechanical odds-calculating computer at Auckland, NZ's Ellerslie racetrack, powered by huge iron weights that slowly pulled down bike chains over sprockets, driving the clockwork device as it "totalised" all the bets laid on horses at the track, keeping the odds in constant balance so that all the bettors were effectively betting against one another, in a system called "pari-mutuel" betting. Read the rest

NZ government leaks on TPP: copyright terms will go to life plus 70 years


An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday's conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA's bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms. Read the rest

NZ bans award-winning YA novel after complaints from conservative Christian group

Ted Dawe's Into the River won the 2013 New Zealand Post Children's Book prize; businesses that sell, lend or gift it face fines of up to NZD10,000. Read the rest

New Zealand gov't promises secret courts for accused terrorists

Juha sez, "The Law Society of NZ is alarmed at government proposals to introduce secret courts where defendants have no right to attend hearings and see all the evidence against them." Read the rest

NZ's anti-troll law: gift to trolls, bad for free speech

If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently. Read the rest

X-Wing fighter rocker

Steve Coupe, a woodworker in New Zealand, created this wonderful children's rocker in the shape of an X-Wing fighter, complete with an R2-D2, working for about 40 hours to complete the piece for a charity auction to benefit a children's hospital. Read the rest

NZ Trade Minister: we keep TPP a secret to prevent "public debate"

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the latest in a series of secretly negotiated sweeping "trade deals" that allow companies to sue governments to repeal environmental and labor laws, expand Internet censorship and surveillance, and a host of other nasties. Read the rest

NZ's National Party sued by Eminem for copyright infringement

The National Party was instrumental in passing the harsh "strict liability" NZ copyright laws that offer no relief from liability, even for people who buy licenses that turn out to have been offered in error -- as appears to be the case in the National Party campaign ad that used Lose Yourself for bed music. Read the rest

Kim Dotcom accuses NZ PM Key of conspiring with Warner to extradite him to US

Dotcom claims he has emails between New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Warner exec Kevin Tsujihara in which Tsujihara explains that Dotcom was followed by private security in Hong Kong and that Key had made the extradition promise to Warner as part of the deal to shoot The Hobbit in NZ (the MPAA, Warner and Key's office all dispute the email's authenticity). Read the rest

NZ TV won't air ads for geo-unblocking ISP

Callum writes, "A New Zealand ISP has had its TV ads rejected by multiple NZ TV Networks (there are three in total, bless) citing a possible 'breach of copyright'." Read the rest

Kim Dotcom offering $5M bounty for information on how his case was rigged

Kim Dotcom, proprietor of the defunct Megaupload, is convinced that the raid on his company was crooked, and he's put up a $5M bounty on information that will help him prove misdeeds on the part of the US or New Zealand authorities: Read the rest

New Zealand requires network operators to register with cops, give spies oversight of their network ops

Juha writes, "When the rest of the world decides to scrutinise and dial down mass surveillance of Internet users, New Zealand does the opposite. From now on, network operators will have to register with the cops, have staff with security clearance and ask the GCSB spy agency for permission to change their networks and buy gear. This is to make it easier for the government to intercept communications and to keep network secure. The new law applies to everyone, from small ISPs to Facebook, Google, Microsoft and telcos. Failure to comply could cost as much as NZ$500,000 in fines per day." Read the rest

NZ Greens unveil Internet Rights and Freedoms bill

Andrew writes, "The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand has launched their Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The Bill was launched on a crowdsourced platform where members of the public are given the opportunity to shape these emerging rights and freedoms. This is the first time a Bill has been crowdsourced by a political party in New Zealand. The Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill proposes:" Read the rest

Drunken bet results in 99-character name-change: "Full Metal Havok..."

Nat writes, "A Dunedin, NZ, man lost a bet five years ago and changed his name by deed poll to the longest name he could make (99 characters, 1 shy of the Dept of Internal Affairs limit). I want to know what they were drinking because the name is fantastic. "The 22-year-old man from Normanby is now legally known as 'Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova'." (Thanks, Nat!) Read the rest

New Zealand's spies admit to illegally deleting key evidence in Kim Dotcom case

GCSB, New Zealand's secret police force has admitted to illegally deleting key evidence related to the raid on Kim Dotcom over his Megaupload service. The spies agree that the evidence was illegally deleted, but claim it was an honest mistake, because the data "aged off" their retention system. Read the rest

For sale: water-tank castle

If you're in New Zealand and want to have the coolest playhouse/LARP-prop south of the equator, this Trademe ad is offering a concrete water-tank converted to a castle for a surprisingly reasonable $500 (you have to pay to move it, though). Read the rest

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