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Margaret Harkema welcomes TV3 defamation settlement and apology

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

As some of you know, I act for Margaret Harkema, a dog and horse breeder in Hastings.
You may also have seen the apology broadcast by TV3 at about 7pm last night, and repeated tonight. If you missed it, you can catch it again tomorrow night, or see it on the Newshub’s website for the next week. […]

OGP consultations underway

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

If you are interested in transparency issues, then there’s a brief but significant chance for you to have some effect on government. The government has to draw up its action plan for open government under the Open Government Partnership by October. That plan is supposed to include commitments that improve transparency, accountability and public participation […]

Open Government Partnership report

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

As many of you will know, in 2013 the NZ government signed up to the Open Government Partnership, a group of countries and civil society organisations that promises to take steps to improve transparency, accountability and public participation in governments. Governments have to submit two-yearly action plans, which are supposed to be “co-created” with the public […]

Open Government Partnership: Are we on the right track?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Here’s an op-ed piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I shopped it around the media, but they weren’t interested. You’d think the media might have the most to gain from debate about open government. (In the end, Scoop took it).
At a meeting in the beating heart of the government precinct late last month, a […]

Open government: did the government get it right?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

The government has released its own draft self-assessment of its performance under the Open Government Partnership.
It thinks its doing a pretty good job. Do you agree? The government is seeking comments until this Friday. You can give your views here: NZOGP_ActionPlan@ssc.govt.nz

How the Film and Literature Board of Review almost derailed the Film Festival

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Here’s an article I wrote about 10 years ago. It’s about how the President of the Film and Literature Board of Review used her powers to make interim publication orders…. and then stopped. Bits of the law and practice may now be a bit out of date. But I’m inclined to think it’s relevant to […]

Open Government: your chance to have your say

Monday, September 7th, 2015

As you might know, the New Zealand government has signed up to the Open Government Partnership, a forum of countries working to promote government that is open, accountable and responsive to citizens.
Last year, the New Zealand government issued its first OGP Action Plan for 2014-2016. It sets out commitments by the NZ government […]

Some questions for the PM

Monday, September 15th, 2014

I’m struggling to find the provisions in NZ’s policy about the classification of documents that allow the PM to declassify documents for the purpose of protecting his reputation (his word, not mine, on Morning Report this morning). Perhaps the PM could help me out here.
The PM has said he would declassify documents to prove he […]

Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought against him by Matt Blomfield. The court said Slater didn’t qualify for source protection under […]

Did Nicky Hager “make stuff up”?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

As many of you know, I act for Nicky Hager. I vetted his book, Dirty Politics, and the three before that.
It is a surreal experience watching what happens to Nicky’s books in the days after their publication. It often seems as if the book that’s being discussed by politicians and in the media is entirely […]

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