Mooing NZ opposition leader denies making "barnyard noise"

According to NZ opposition party leader Simon Bridges, the loud mooing noise he made during Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's turn at the mic during Question Time on May 7 was not a "barnyard noise," contrary to the Speaker of the House's characterisation when he was kicked out of Parliament for his behavior. Read the rest

Airbnb guest uses network sniffer to find hidden webcam, Airbnb finds no wrongdoing

Airbnb has a hidden camera problem: Airbnb hosts keep getting caught using hidden webcams to spy on people staying in their unlicensed hotel-rooms, and while the company proclaims a zero tolerance policy for the practice, the reality is that the company tacitly tolerates Airbnb hosts who engage in this creepy, voyeuristic behavior. Read the rest

New Zealand's domestic spies, obsessed with illegally surveilling environmental activists, missed a heavily armed right-wing terrorist

New Zealand is one of the Five Eyes countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) who collaborate on mass surveillance, and it has a notoriously off-leash, invasive surveillance apparatus that has been caught spying on NZ Greenpeace, the NZ Green Party, the Mana Movements and anti-TPP activists; the state was also caught giving private corporate spies access to its national surveillance data to help them hunt down and neutralize activists; unsurprisingly, the NZ police also abused these records, accessing them without a warrant on thousands of occasions (NZ also recruited the NSA to spy on kiwi activists). Read the rest

The Right to Repair movement is making strides around the world

Last year saw a massive surge in the right to repair movement, which seeks to limit manufacturers' power to undermine repairs, by mandating certain design decisions to facilitate independent servicing of goods, as well as access to parts and manuals. Read the rest

The 78th World Science Fiction Convention will be in Wellington, New Zealand

July 29-August 2, 2020: even the (no-foolin' awesome) Prime Minister is getting in on the act! Read the rest

Hey, Melbourne! I'm coming to see you this week (Sydney, Adelaide and Wellington: you're next!)

I'm typing these words from Perth airport, after a wonderful time at the Perth Festival; my Australiasian tour for Walkaway has four more stops to go: tomorrow and Wednesday, I'll be in Melbourne; then it's off to Sydney; the Adelaide Festival; Wellington Writers and Readers Week and Read the rest

Tax-funded NZ company sold mass surveillance tech to torturers and GCHQ

A whistleblower has provided The Intercept with leaked documents about Endace, an obscure New Zealand company based in Auckland, revealing that the company -- which received millions in government funding -- developed the mass surveillance equipment used by the UK spy agency to engage in illegal mass surveillance on fiber-optic lines that traverse the UK, and that Endace's customer list also includes a who's-who of telcoms companies, spy agencies, and the Moroccan secret police, who make a practice of spying on people, then kidnapping and torturing them. Read the rest

Greenpeace NZ delivers a solar power petition -- with a song

The government of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand imposing an energy-company-backed tax on people who put solar panels on their homes. Greenpeace's petition in support of sustainable, renewable power was delivered with a catchy, angry song by Tiki Taane. Read the rest

After New Zealand spooks misidentified pro-democracy activist, NSA spied on him for them

Tony Fullman is one of the only people that we know to have been targeted by Prism, the NSA's signature mass-surveillance tool: he's a Fijian-born expatriate with New Zealand citizenship, and had his passport seized and his name added to terrorism watchlists after the NSA helped their New Zealand counterparts spy on him, intercepting his bank statements, Facebook posts, Gmail messages, recorded phone conversations, and more. Read the rest

NZ Prime Minister John Key ejected from Parliament over Panama Papers rant

John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was ejected from the country's parliamentary debating chamber yesterday when he repeated ignored the Speaker of the House's calls to yield the floor, continuing to rant even after his microphone had been cut off. Read the rest

New Zealand's Prime Minister: I'll stay in TPP's economic suicide-pact even if the USA pulls out

The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership will cost New Zealand a fortune -- the extension of its copyright from 50 to 70 years alone will suck NZD55,000,000/year out of its economy -- but it's supposed to get the benefit of increased trade with the major powers in the treaty, especially Japan and the USA. Read the rest

NZ police broke the law when they raided investigative journalist's home

The New Zealand High Court has ruled that the NZ police broke the law in 2014 when they raided the home of Nicky Hager, an investigative journalist whose work was sharply critical of the NZ government, and who was working on Snowden-related disclosures. Read the rest

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

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