Getting more action

August 16th, 2007 at 7:24 am by David Farrar

I am somewhat amused by the fact that Air New Zealand has been getting closer to the action and combat zones, than the Royal New Zealand Air Force has been.  Maybe the Government should do a merger :-)

No tag for this post.

78 Responses to “Getting more action”

  1. FedUp () says:

    Excellent idea David! With direct flights to Iraq, perhaps Hone should share his love around and go walkabout there.

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  2. dad4justice () says:

    Headlines in local paper ; ” Clark appalled and furious at Air NZ ‘s actions.”

    The same feelings of emotion can be accredited to the majority of common sense ( not utopian deluded dreamboat socialists ) kiwi’s when Auntie Helen seized our right to a effective combat Air Force ? As a young lad I felt safe and I used to enjoy our Air Force flying over our schoolyard .No doubt the spiteful gender bias PM didn’t like the fact that most combat pilots were male .

    How long are kiwi’s going to take this repugnant regime of twisted f##ks ?

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  3. TIM BARCLAY () says:

    This is going to turn into one of those what did he know and when did he know it moment. I would slam down a PQ “will the Minister deny that he was briefed on Air New Zealand taking armed forces personnell to Iraq.” and to the PM as well. They were briefed all right, but on a busy day they simply forgot about it. And what were they supposed to do once they became fixed with the knowledge?? I presume Murdoch (MFAT head) says nothing about Ministers being briefed, but warns the SSC that if Ministers publicly impinge his integrity he will have to publcly correct them. I presume he will offer his resignation for having to openly criticise the Government. I would play it that way, you have to.

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  4. Mike () says:

    @dad4justice. I think you will find that kiwis will take this “repugnant” government for at least another term.

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  5. kiwi_donkey () says:

    If there is dysfunctional communication from the MFAT, I think much of the blame must go to Labour’s coalition arrangements. They have this bizarre situation of the Foreign Minister not being in cabinter, and perhaps this is the consequence – confused and ineffective foreign policy communications.

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  6. dad4justice () says:

    Well Mike if kiwi’s are that thick then I suggest Air NZ better buy at least a dozen more air craft as the mass departure from this wacko control freak government will be a relief for many . 800 a week are leaving now , the mind boggles at how many will leave under another liarbore term next year ? It’s sad, really sad .

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  7. Mike () says:

    Haha…please lets leave the tired and boring soundbites out of this. At the end of the day, I am sure you have been crying foul with this current govt since they came into power. And yet, I am confident (and don’t let this last comment make you think that I am a “dirty commie or a ‘socialist’, or ‘left wing’, or whatever black and white political stereotype you like to put on anyone who disagrees with your position) that Labour will win the next election. This is not because of what they have done wrong (which is alot) or what they have done right (which is also a lot), but is due to the fact that NZ is currently proud of its current culture (which has been a major plus of the current govt).

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  8. Ross Miller () says:

    I have just listened to an ‘embarrassing’ interview with Winston Peters on Morning Report. He stumbled through it and gave the impression of a person playing catch-up. He said he didn’t know the make-up of the troops ferried but it was fascinating his ascertion that if the troops had been engineers involved in reconstruction then it would be ok (lets put to one side the fact that clealy this is not the view of the real Foreign Minister Phil Goff)

    This is a man who has the whole apparatus of Foreign Affairs behind him. It takes only ten seconds to get that answer and to know it is a red herring.

    So, for the benefit of Mr Peters, detailed below is the Aust Iraq deployment details taken from the ADF website. NO CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS MR PETERS.

    Methinks McCully is getting close to the truth with his ascertion that Peters relationship with his ministry is disfunctional.

    Australia’s commitment to Operation Catalyst presently includes:

    • An Australian Joint Task Force Headquarters of about 70 personnel that commands all ADF maritime, land and air elements deployed on either Operations Catalyst or Slipper. The headquarters is commanded by Major General Mark Evans. Brigadier Gerard Fogarty also operates from this headquarters.

    • A Security Detachment (SECDET) of about 110 personnel including infantry personnel and Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs) to provide protection and escort for Australian Government personnel working in our Embassy in Baghdad.

    • The Overwatch Battle Group-West (OBG-W) based in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar comprises approximately 515 personnel and consists of a headquarters, a cavalry squadron, an infantry company, ASLAVs and Bushmaster vehicles. The Battle Group is based at Tallil Air Base and from where it undertakes a security overwatch role for Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar Provinces as part of a larger Coalition Force.

    • The Australian Army Training Team – Iraq contributes to training the Iraqi Army with a team of up to 100 trainers working at various locations throughout Iraq.

    • A RAAF C-130 Hercules Detachment of about 155 personnel provides intra-theatre airlift and sustainment support in the Middle East, with three transport aircraft, ground crew and other support elements.

    • About 95 personnel serving in the multi-national force headquarters and units.

    • A RAAF AP-3C Orion Detachment of about 170 personnel conducts maritime patrol operations, with two aircraft and associated command and support elements supporting both the rehabilitation operation in Iraq and the coalition operation against terrorism.

    • HMAS Anzac, under the command of CAPT Ian Middleton, RAN, is deployed to the Persian Gulf where she assists in the detection, deterring and intercepting of vessels within Iraqi waters suspected of undertaking illegal activity. Importantly, HMAS Anzac assists in protecting Iraq’s offshore assets such as oil platforms ensuring Iraq’s key economic resources are able to generate much needed funds to support reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. HMAS Anzac is a Royal Australian Navy ANZAC Class Frigate, with a crew of approximately 190. Her homeport is HMAS Stirling at Garden Island, Western Australia. This is Anzac’s third deployment to the Northern Persian Gulf and is the 16th rotation of Navy ships as part of coalition operations since 2001.

    • A small number of ADF personnel are employed with the Coalition Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force, designated TF Troy. TF Troy coordinates Coalition C-IED efforts focused on intelligence collection, material solutions and training for coalition forces throughout Iraq. ADF personnel serving with TF Troy also provide information that assists the Australian Counter IED Task Force that is based in Canberra.

    • A tri-service Force Level Logistic Asset, communications element and movement control group of 110 personnel are responsible for a range of logistic, training and communications activities.

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  9. Mike () says:

    *apologise for the overuse of current and currently

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  10. Frank () says:

    In view of the latest horrific terrorist attack that may have killed up to 500 people and injured hundreds, I can only view the Air New Zealand charter flights as indirectly assisting the interests of humanity in the fight against terrorism.

    It is OK for the Beehive to jump up and down, and the Opposition to make capital out of this commercial decision, but where is their criticism of this shocking criminal act. Any silence on their part is condoning the action of terrorists.

    This is where a line has to be drawn and people have to stand up and be counted.

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  11. Pascal () says:

    (paraphrased)

    “I do not recall meeting with the Exclusive Brethren”

    “The goverment did not know Air New Zealand was carrying troops to a war we had been objecting to from the very beginning”

    “I did not know the car was traveling at 160km/h”

    A multitude of levels of hypocracy. Roast Dr Brash and the National Party for being forgetful, whilst at the same time speaking out of the other side of their faces. I wonder when the Labour Collective will wake up to inherent dishonesty of their elected leaders.

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  12. dad4justice () says:

    “NZ is currently proud of it’s current culture ” -yeah right !
    My young daughter has just read your comment Mike and she would like to ask you , as a vulnerable kiwi kid , how could you be proud with the current appalling acts of child abuse and infanticde because we are third in the world stage ?

    Phil Goff talks of rocket science over this Air NZ saga and ho hum another whitewash inquiry will be launched ?

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  13. cubit9f () says:

    Ross,

    Right on the button. How does Winston get away with it.

    The concern is that he is outside the cabinet. Foriegn Affairs is at the core of a government. You simply cannot have the foriegn minister out in limbo land. The cabinet is already bloated but I think that it goes without question that the foriegn minister should be one of the first in the room.

    It is probable that officials are reluctant to give full disclosure to a pseudo minister. I am sure that Goff is regarded as the real minister and the problem is whether he is told everything either. There is probably a great deal of confusion as to which minister is to be told what. This sort of situation can only lead to confusion and chaos in what is one of the key aspects of government.

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  14. FedUp () says:

    Mike – “but is due to the fact that NZ is currently proud of its current culture.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks for the good laugh Mike. NZ lost it’s mojo years ago and is now just a little insignificant island in the south pacific… a laughing stock of the world.

    I for one am not proud of NZ, its people or it’s culture.

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  15. Nico () says:

    David,
    Your comments about the RNZAF are totally uncalled for. The NZDF has maintained a presence in the region for a number of years and the RNZAF has supported these deployments in a number of different ways.

    Cheap shots against the RNZAF are not appreiciated by the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

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  16. sonic () says:

    I wonder what Mr Farrar and friends would have said if ANZ had refused to run these flights.

    I’m sure the phrases “Sacrificing revenue at the alter of political correcteness” “Dictatorial government dictating to ANZ” “Damaging relations with our closest neighbour” and “Hindering the fight against terror” would all have figured prominently.

    As I’ve said before, if Helen Clark announced a cure for cancer Mr F would probably denounce it for undermining the oncology business.

    [DPF: Sonic accuses me of what he is the worst offender of. I have praised the Govt on many occassions. Just a couple of days ago on their Immigration Act changes. Also my ratings of various Ministers tends to not be hugely different to press gallery ratings. Sonic however is so hopeless that when Helen refuses to clamp down on anon donations he blames National for it. That was the post where the credibility sunk to zero]

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  17. FedUp () says:

    Nico – “David, Your comments about the RNZAF are totally uncalled for.”

    Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think ol England’s done.”

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  18. David Baigent () says:

    Mike, Your quote, ..“but is due to the fact that NZ is currently proud of its current culture.”

    Ok its only your opinion, but it is not one that many thinking NZers can share unfortunately.
    Shift your view from just personal opinion and start looking, listening and especially counting.

    If your upbringing allows you to, you can count the number of our better people leaving to Australia where they work marry and bring up Aussie kids.
    You can look and see the tears of the grandparents who are left behind.

    You see they cannot make themselves leave NZ to follow because they are rendered blind and paralysed by their joyful memories of what NZ used to be.

    There is more but I cannot make myself write it..

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  19. dad4justice () says:

    Sonic I hope helen clark can develop a cure for her cancerous feral inbred criminal comments . The government is a disgrace in more ways than I can write .

    Proud to be a kiwi – yeah right – is our national identity corruption and lies ?

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  20. David Farrar (1,855 comments) says:

    Nico – my comments are aimed at the Govt who abolished the combat wing of the Air Force. I suspect you knew that also.

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  21. Neil () says:

    Mike, Your quote, ..“but is due to the fact that NZ is currently proud of its current culture.”

    Have you ever read a newspaper, watched the news or listened to the radio?
    How would you extrapolate that NZ is proud of anything.
    Our country is a basket case, and we either cut and run to Oz or stay and make it right.
    Pulling statements out of your backside such as the above is probably ill advised on a forum such as this.
    Save it for the labour party love ins.

    And whats with the Faux outrage, Arent the SAS away blowing up terrorists on daily basis with the blessing of the Govt?
    Or are they freelancing…

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  22. Redbaiter () says:

    “As I’ve said before, if Helen Clark announced a cure for cancer Mr F would probably denounce it for undermining the oncology business.”

    Socialism is the cancer. I agree, we badly need a cure, but it won’t come from Helen Klark. Pro terrorist, anti liberty. Pro Communist China, anti US. Pro Chavez, anti Australia/ Howard..

    We’re gonna get a lot sicker before the real cure comes along..

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  23. gd () says:

    There are so many delicious issues here one hardly knows where to start.
    1. Was it one or more persons in ANZ who saw a way to embarass the Gumint.

    2.Was it one or more persons in MFAT who saw a way to embarass the Gumint and pay back their Minister.

    3. Was it a change for Flick Off to get a shot at Luigi.

    Ahh Its hard not to fell sorry for the Socialists and their supporters here and elswhere Wheels falling off trolley springs to mind.

    Lovely jubbly

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  24. vto () says:

    You know, if you’re tired of the dictatorial nature of the idiots in wellington then just ignore them. it reduces their power.

    ignore this EFB completely. dont read any political commentary whatsoever. accept no money from them in any form. do not engage with them.

    they over-estimate their importance AND their power. it is a thin thread holding it together.

    by the way, all the posts on this site smell heavily of that geographically and culturally isolated city – wellington. correct?

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  25. JamesE () says:

    Some of you guys need to chill out and perhaps read this book.
    http://www.longacre.co.nz/books/KillingUs.html

    The antics of this government’s politicians are NOT reflective of the rest of our society. I personally am very optimistic of this country’s future as long as we can get rid of the incumbent government. I think awhile ago David profiled some cross-partisan initiatives by the Young Adult wings of our political parties. THEY are the future. If the current old fools are too busy with their childish and petty squabbling to improve this country then there are some fine, talented, and intelligent people waiting in the wings.

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  26. TIM BARCLAY () says:

    The Government has NOT abolished the combat wing. GOff is still sitting on the planes which are being expensively maintained by the tax payer while the US Government says stuff off if you want to posture against our relationship.

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  27. Frank () says:

    JamesE: “The antics of this government’s politicians are NOT reflective of the rest of our society.”

    You are completely wrong. The fact that “the rest of our society CONDONE the antics of this government’ politicians” is well and truly reflective of our society, of which you are part as well as “some fine, talented, and intelligent people waiting in the wings”

    So what? Hollow Words ? Where is the action?

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  28. Redbaiter () says:

    “Some of you guys need to chill out”

    Yeah, chill out you losers, let the commies do as they will.. just lie down and take it.. FFS, what a pathetic dipshit.. Its “chilling out” that has allowed these venal power obsessed commies to assume political and social ascendancy you weak fool..

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  29. Tauhei Notts () says:

    Mike writes in a thoughtful manner. This is a difficult fact for many right thinking people to grasp.

    There are a huge number of New Zealanders who think that the Labour Party is doing a wonderful job and there is much to admire in our culture. A huge number.

    It is when you research those people you find that they are all have their snouts in the taxpayer trough, or are unemployable immigrants. And yes, they are proud of the child bashing culture; there are a lot of sickos out there, and they all have something in common with each reader here; they have one vote. It is a great pity that Mike is correct; Labour will win in 2008. Me a pessimist? No, I am a realist. I must close off and go and spew my guts out.

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  30. Doug () says:

    David – how do you think the SAS got to Afghanistan to win a VC? If you ask the Air Force they can’t tell you where all their C130s are

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  31. Selma Bouvier () says:

    Which combat zone did the national party send the RNZAF during the first gulf war in 1991/92.

    NONE.
    They only sent Hercules to saudi arabia. Even though we had a so called strike wing it wasnt used. ( as it hasnt since about 1957).

    Plus as some of the usual deaf & dumb writers here have forgotten the ANZ flights DID NOT go to IRAQ. Kuwait isnt Iraq since about 1991/92

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  32. dad4justice () says:

    Tauhei Notts – you don’t read the polls ? Labour will be lucky to poll 20% come election time .

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  33. dad4justice () says:

    If you can read selma’s post make that 15% Tauhei Notts , talk about dumbo’s.

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  34. Inventory2 () says:

    Splitting hairs now are we Selma – you obviously haven’t listened to the boss this morning, who is reported to be appalled by Air NZ’s commercial decision.

    However I do agree with previous posters who have commented on a dysfunctional relationship between Peters and MFAT officials. I agree with those who have suggested that Winston has been kept out of the loop. I suspect there will be liberal applications of the “Prebble Principle” over the next few days from people who either “forgot”, or “didn’t think it was critical”. After all, Helen Herself has said that “forgetting is not a hanging offence”.

    Surely, when she gave Winston his warrant, Helen must have known that it would all end in tears.

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  35. dad4justice () says:

    Yes the “prebble principle” is built on foolish forgetful fiasco foundations.

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  36. Madeleine () says:

    Just loving this story. Absolutely loving it.

    About time NZ publicly did something to support the efforts in Iraq.

    Also just love how this makes Labour look.

    The whole thing is priceless!

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  37. TJ () says:

    Indeed Selma, why is Helen “Appalled” at Air NZ flying to Kuwait…its a strange world

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  38. Reg () says:

    Isn’t it delicious!! Labour after feeding long at the trough of self righteousness now wallows in the slimy mud of hypocrisy.
    Another example is Afghanistan. Clark sent the SAS in (one good thing she did) well before their was a UN mandate, exactly what she accused the US of doing in Iraq. Shouldn’t that send the peacniks in to a feeding frenzy. Meanwhile how about a few medals for our brave airmen/women who who have flown their Korou tailed flying machines into theatre of War.

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  39. Gavin () says:

    To add a little fuel to the fire, I have just penned and sent this email to the editors of a couple of newspapers. I thought a few you you here might like the story, and its relevance to current events ;)


    I am, to quote our Prime Minister, “appalled and furious” at the recent grandstanding by Helen Clark and Phil Goff with regards to the Air New Zealand defence flights issue.

    I was lucky enough on Tuesday night (14th August) to witness first-hand these two politicians travelling to Wellington the night before they attacked Air New Zealand in the House of Representatives. I was seated in seat 3A on Qantas flight QF4061 that departed Auckland at 2100 and arrived in Wellington around 2200. I believe that Phil Goff was already seated in 2F when I took my seat. Soon before departure Helen Clark, an aide, and a Diplomatic Protection Squad officer arrived. Helen Clark was seated directly in front of me for the flight in seat 2A, her aide in 2C, and the DPS officer in 2D. I checked later and there was an Air New Zealand flight scheduled for the same time – I’m not sure if it was full.

    I find it “totally inappropriate” (courtesy of Phil Goff) that Clark and Goff should attack Air New Zealand when they are flying Qantas. If our Prime and Defence Ministers can choose flights based on their operational requirements, then Air New Zealand should also be entitled to choose how they operate, including the clients they service.

    At least $18 million in profits from Air New Zealand charter flights will go a long way towards covering the costs of our key Ministers travelling on a foreign-owned airline.

    Gavin

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  40. crikey () says:

    > sonic Says:

    Groan not more annoying turds from the shitmeister.

    Sonic why don’t you fuck off – we are simply not interested in your pathetic yabbering. I don’t know if you think you are being clever or funny, but you are neither. I guess this is the only way you can get anyone to listen to your rants, by posting on this blog. Why not get your own then we can all make sure we never go there.

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  41. crikey () says:

    As a perfect example:
    Sonic said: As I’ve said before, if Helen Clark announced a cure for cancer Mr F would probably denounce it for undermining the oncology business.

    If HC announced a cure for cancer it would obviously be a lie. Can’t you think or what?

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  42. DavidW () says:

    Frankly I don’t give a toss about where Air NZ goes or not. Kuwait International Airport has many many airlines beetling in and out daily. A bunch of terrorists are NOT sitting there checking off the airlines which arrive. If there was a real risk as a result of flying troops under contract of then United and BA would be much nearer the top of any list as both charter on a much wider scale.

    No, the real story here is how easily the Gummint have been panicked by a non-story. And so they should because their very carefully crafted campaign against John Key has just come a total gutser and they are looking like total twats who don’t know what is going on in their own patch.

    The smiles were wiped off their faces yesterday but the egg will take a bit longer.

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  43. DavidW () says:

    crikey
    Rumour has it that he does have his own blog but no-one wants to come and play in his sandpit. Can’t think why !

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  44. Policy Parrot () says:

    Hell, I bet if Redbaiter and d4j were in the government, they’d be sending AirNZ planes to Baghdad deliberately, and hoping that they were shot down so they’d have an excuse to intervene that prevented some people labelling them warmongers.

    If you are so keen on the war in Iraq, why don’t you (and the rest of your poison minded ilk) go over there and become private contractors. Put your money where your mouth is – i.e. freedom and liberalism. Exalt your hatred of anything bar Western culture by killing a few Iraqis.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us with get on with job of governing NZ in the way a huge majority wants – a socially responsible, progressive and tolerant culture.

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  45. gd () says:

    I understand it was Ian Wishart who broke the story. No doubt tipped off from inside Air NZ
    Questions.
    Did the whistleblower(s) approach the MSM before IW. If so why didnt they chose to run the story

    Or did the whistleblower(s) bypass the MSM completely and does this signal the whistleblowers mistrust in the MSM.

    Methinks another coup for IW and a slap in the face for the MSM.

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  46. Inventory2 () says:

    gd said “Methinks another coup for IW and a slap in the face for the MSM.”

    Dead right there gd – read what Wishart himself said this morniong on his own blog:

    “PLAGIARISM BY TVNZ
    Always amusing to watch the mainstream media duck, weave and obfuscate when it comes to stories broken by Investigate. If there’s any chance of giving the magazine a good kicking, they’re all over us like a rash. Otherwise, they simply plagiarise and steal our stories. Take TVNZ’s One News – watching their bulletins last night you’d think the Air New Zealand story had mysteriously dropped from the sky into their laps – a gift from the fairies perhaps. No mention at all that it was an Investigate story, which is standard journalistic practice. Then there’s Newstalk ZB. You’ll remember this was the station that tried to ridicule Investigate’s police corruption coverage, and then refused to run any story at all when we tabled hard documentary evidence of corruption. Despite running a whingeing press release from Air New Zealand trying to bag Investigate, ZB failed to run Investigate’s response at all. UPDATE: Newstalk ZB’s Richard Sutherland is onto this now, and trying to find out why their email systems lost our news release…Main point is they’re giving us right of reply, so honour is restored on all sides, hatchet buried. What about TV3′s Nightline? It picked up on the outraged squawks of aviation writer Peter Clark, including his allegation that our entire story must be rubbish because the cover was Photoshopped. Did Nightline contact Investigate to clarify? No. Did Nightline bother to check whether TV3 already had the facts in house? No. The record will disclose that 3News Wellington chief Gordon McBride was told by us at 2pm that the cover was a photoshopped montage. Nightline went to air 8.5 hours later with its facts wrong. The irony of a TV channel doing a news story critical of Investigate fact-checking, whilst itself falling flat, was not lost on me. Earlier in the night, of course, Campbell Live led off with reportage of its own claiming that one of the Air New Zealand flights had strayed into a no-fly zone (hence the fighter escort that Air New Zealand denies).

    MORE ON AIR NEW ZEALAND IN LATEST INVESTIGATE
    You didn’t think our story was confined merely to some military charter flights, did you? Heck no. Here’s just a snippet of some of the things Air New Zealand staff have told us:

    (ON AVIATION SECURITY SERVICE:) “The hand-held metal detectors they use do not work near the floor as there are metal rods in the concrete. Anyone can take whatever they like onto an aircraft by simply placing an item in their shoes.

    “A senior officer grabbed the ears of an officer and banged his head against the car door for not knowing where the spare wheel was kept in one of their cars. There are apparently many breaches of human rights in this organization, staff I spoke to were baffled as to how they get away with it.

    “IDs are never checked. Recently at the Air NZ gate, an Air NZ staff member tested Aviation Security by going through the checkpoint with a photograph of a monkey on the ID. It was not picked up.”

    (OR ON ALLEGED TAX EVASION BY AIR NZ:)
    “…The final crunch, in this long series of leaks, however, comes from a former staff member who alleges the airline evaded Fringe Benefit Tax on staff travel.

    “John Armstrong is a former Air New Zealand travelcentre manager, whose biggest claim to fame perhaps was creating the so-called “Pink Flights” to cater for the gay and lesbian market back in 1998. Although he left the airline in 2001, Armstrong, himself gay, watched from the sidelines when this year’s Pink Flight hit the news headlines as gay travelers and politicians joined the flight for a weekend trip to the Gay Mardi Gras in Sydney.

    “So far, no big deal, you might say. Except for this. Armstrong alleges he didn’t jump, he was pushed, and in the course of trying to remedy his situation he has passed a lot of information to his local MP, Prime Minister Helen Clark. Information that includes extremely serious allegations of tax evasion by the government-owned airline.

    “Armstrong claims his information has never been followed up, as no-one from the IRD has interviewed him or asked for the evidence he holds…”

    All of this and more in the print edition article on Air New Zealand, out today.”

    Sounds like there is an element in the MSM that doesn’t like Wishart – maybe that’s because they think he’s a right-wing, fundy fruitloop, or maybe they don’t like someone who’s prepared to tread on a few toes to get a story. Whichever (and I’d go for the latter), he’s outflanked TV, radio & all the papers on this one, not to mention the pollies!

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  47. krazykiwi () says:

    Ian is the target of regular abuse by any public figure he exposes to scrutiny.

    Setting aside one’s like/dislike for his content (usually exposing some double standards, hidden agenda etc) I believe that his journalistic methods are pretty sound. So sound in fact that the MSM are simply angry that their sloppiness I exposed. Good on ya Ian!!

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  48. Inventory2 () says:

    NEWSFLASH! Barry Soper is just reporting from Winston’s press conference that Simon Murdoch has taken full responsibility (read: been hung out to dry) for not passing on the AirNZ info. Winston says – case closed.

    However Soper says that Murdoch is probably NZ’s “most respected” public servant, and this error on his part is “inexplicable”. Is this REALLY the end of the matter, or is there “trouble at t’mill” in Foreign Affairs?

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  49. Murray () says:

    Air NZ says they advised the ministers dept.

    Government claims they didn’t.

    Which has a history of lying their asses off to the public for political purposes?

    Hmm let me think…

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  50. gd () says:

    Ears pricked up at the alledged tax evasion issue and that papers had been handed to HC. Wonder what happened to them Were they passed on to IRD for investigation Or did they (cough) get mislaid. Was there an attempt to cover up tax evasion and spare Air NZ the costs and penalties when it was going thru some troubling times..

    Questions that need answers but sadly given the current appalling governance regime we are unlikely to see any.

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  51. sonic () says:

    “Ian is the target of regular abuse”

    I know, considering what a nice, polite, self-effacing guy he is it’s a mystery why that happens.

    I wonder if he is cosy enough in Bill English’s pocket?

    Go get the ball Ian! good puppy.

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  52. Matthew () says:

    Now the government is saying that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet knew about the flights; but that the DPMC didn’t tell any Minister.

    So now we have to believe that the DPMC is not aware of the Government’s own policy over the war in Iraq!!!!!

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  53. krazykiwi () says:

    “Now the government is saying that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet knew about the flights; but that the DPMC didn’t tell any Minister”

    It’s more than their [DPMC] jobs are worth to admit to the world that they told her. I can’t even begin to imagine what mirky leverage she has in there… only hope that it’s not enough to keep the full truth from coming out.

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  54. krazykiwi () says:

    Sonic, I’ve gotta hand it to you. Attempting to bite back, albeit rather lamely, when Labour is imploding in a near-total meltdown is quite meritorious. Keep it up :)

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  55. cubit9f () says:

    It has also been disclosed that the Officials Committee on Security were informed of the subject.

    It is hard to believe that not one of these very senior officials from a variety of departments did not discuss the matter with their minister or their ministers office.

    The “no surprises policy” for ministers that reigns supreme would have had them ensuring that they moved the message to their minister.

    Chances are that a number of ministers were aware of what was afoot.

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  56. dad4justice () says:

    Policy Parrot – open the cage darling and startting f##king squawking for all the gentleman please – thank you dear !!

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  57. roger nome () says:

    S the labour government may or may not have been guilty of letting ANZ fly Australian troops to fight for the illegal occupation of Iraq. On the other hand National would have certainly sent young New Zealanders to die in this bloodbath and farce of a war that is based on lies. On know which position I’m more comfortable with, and I know which position the vast majority of New Zealanders are more comfortable with.

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  58. Swampy () says:

    The release from Investigate Magazine occurred at 12.10 pm, two hours before the opening of parliament.

    there should have been plenty of time for National to hijack question 7 which was attacking Key on the Iraq war, Keith Locke had a go.

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  59. sonic () says:

    “Labour is imploding in a near-total meltdown”

    er, absolutely, its armageddon out there….

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  60. Inventory2 () says:

    So now we know – in Wellington, the tail wags the dog. Cullen has admitted in the Hosue that Simon Murdoch from MFAT knew about the flights, that officials in the Dept of PM & Cabinet knew, and that the various senior public servants who sit on the Officials Committee on Security knew – but no-one, not a single one of them told any Minister, or any ministerial staff about it. If that is true, it suggests conspirarcy at the highest levels of the public service to embarrass the government (commendable, but highly unlikely), a totally inept and incompetent public service (possible, but I don’t really think so), or a massive butt-covering exercise by the Executive (wouldn’t be the first time!).

    The government seems to think that Simon Murdoch’s apology will shut this down. Somehow, I don’t think so!

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  61. dad4justice () says:

    Sonic ; “er, absolutely, its armageddon out there….”

    53% in the polls and you bet the % will rapidly climb blueward after today.

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  62. Dazzaman () says:

    “Maybe the Government should do a merger”

    What! And fly in a chopper halfway across the Tasman! No thanks.

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  63. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Oh, dear, perhaps Flip-Flop Goff and Winston (Nothing Like Churuchill) Peters might want to stop talking until they actually has a clue what’s going on?

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  64. Dazzaman () says:

    How about sending some troops to Iraq, got to train them somewhere. After all, building school halls and gymnasiums is not where I want my public taxes to go. That’s about the only work the majority of our armed forces seem to do.

    Get them out there and killing some terrorist a___holes and their wives and children, after all they’ll only be terrorist a___holes when they grow up.

    Illegal war? No such thing matey. The intelligence may have been dodgy but it was the right thing boy. I advocate a nuke in the Baghdad Imperial Palace to bring about a quick end (o:

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  65. sonic () says:

    I do have to say it is a very “brave” decision from National to bring the whole issue of of Iraq back to the centre of political debate.

    Very brave indeed.

    Has John remembered what he thought about it yet?

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  66. cubit9f () says:

    Roger Nome said”

    “S the labour government may or may not have been guilty of letting ANZ fly Australian troops to fight for the illegal occupation of Iraq. On the other hand National ”

    That is not the issue here. The issue is what did the Government know about Air NZ activties. It is hard to believe that with so many seniot officials in the know for months that not one minister had the faintest idea as to what was going on.

    What we are now seeing is obfuscation and the rather sad sight of the Secretary of Foriegn Affair taking the hit.

    In reality the the fact that the goverrnment did not do anything to stop Air NZ was probably the right course of action anyway. Except someone told Wishart and of course the holier than thou attitude must prevail.

    Mr Peters (or whoever is the real Foriegn minister) Tell the truth!

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  67. kisekiman (224 comments) says:

    Big deal, ferrying a few Aussie soldiers in unmarked planes to Kuwait, so what? Kudos to Air NZ management for doing their jobs and trying to create some shareholder value.

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  68. grumpyoldhori () says:

    We need a combat air wing for what, scare a
    a few fishermen ?.

    Notice that the Brit. army is saying that the RAF should of bought fewer Typhoon aircraft and a lot more helicopters and A10 type
    aircraft.

    It seems some in NZ believe we owe a few
    young people the chance to soar in the wild
    blue yonder at taxpayer expense.

    The same people begrudged the army buying
    LAV threes to protect our infantry.

    Check which branch of the military is seeing
    the pointy end, that is where the limited funds
    should go.

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  69. baxter () says:

    KISEKIMAN…I agree with you. If I was one of their small minority shareholders I would expect the company to take all legitmate actions to maximise value, not follow leftwing socialist dogma. I would expect them to pay their taxes though.

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  70. gd () says:

    Right on Baxter IMHO the bigger issue here is the alledged tax evasion and Dearly Beloved heavenly Leader. If the Nats are on the case they will ask her in the House to either confrim or deny she was handed papers and what did she do with them. Of course we all know she will have a big memory lapse and wont recall. But non the less the Nats gotta so on for the kill. I would love to get to do a tax audit on Air NZ and find out if they fudged the FBT calcs. A little matching exercise would soon uncover the truth.

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  71. Grant () says:

    I just find the whole thing, and labour’s response to its outing, vastly amusing. To watch Goff and Peters and co squirming has been utterly delicious, and then they pin it all on a beaurocrat…..

    But for real amusement value, just imagine what the reaction would have been from all the po faced leftists if a National led government had declined to send troops and then allowed the national airline to carry Aussie troops to the conflict zone, and then denied ever knowing about it. Their fury would know no bounds.

    Also, now that ANZ have made a few quid on the side, might we see a return to something a bit more substantial in the tucker department on internal flights? Just wondering.
    G

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  72. peterquixote () says:

    what do you think of the future for CEO AIR NZ farra, how long do you give him, like you gotta be real she (we) own 70% dude, and she very grumpy these days, what with them polls mn things, and that elusive slick tie john key who going to kick her to sweden,

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  73. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Has John remembered what he thought about it yet?

    Sonic, do Phil and Winston actually have a clue what’s going on in their own portfolios? I think that’s marginally more pertinent to the current discussion, than the failed tacitic of last week.

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  74. Inventory2 () says:

    Craig Ranapia said ” “Has John remembered what he thought about it yet?”

    Sonic, do Phil and Winston actually have a clue what’s going on in their own portfolios? I think that’s marginally more pertinent to the current discussion, than the failed tacitic of last week.”

    Craig, if Jill(the Fishwife) Pettis asks another patsy question to Phil Goff about Iraq next week, the entire National caucus should start humming “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – that should shut things down very quickly!

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  75. Kent Parker (449 comments) says:

    David,

    <i>Nico – my comments are aimed at the Govt who abolished the combat wing of the Air Force. I suspect you knew that also.</i>

    David, thunderbirds are go, our combat wing was outdated. The govt has done the right thing by replacing them with state off the art helicopters. Fighter jets are so out of our league financially that it’s not worth even thinking about. The other purchase our air force should consider are unmanned air reconnaisance (and attack) planes which are smaller and cheaper.

    Combat technology has changed a lot since the RNZAF last fought alongside Australia.

    [DPF: The combat wing was not outdated, we had some nice F22s never used by us. And the cost is a fraction of our surplus over the years]

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  76. Rumpole () says:

    Kent
    I recall our 30+ year old fighters beating the Aussies in war games, against their up to date Tomcats, better planes or better pilots – you choose. Ask what difference in cost of mothballing/operation and the potential cost of replacing/retraining if things ever get ugly in the S Pacific – armed forces are insurance, pay the premium and be grateful you never have to claim – insure your house – thought so.

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  77. Rumpole () says:

    I smell lies/misleading by ministers even perhaps HC,DBP’s treatment is the preferred precedent. If Key doesn’t go for the jugular I would like to know why

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  78. Kent Parker (449 comments) says:

    The combat wing was not outdated, we had some nice F22s never used by us. And the cost is a fraction of our surplus over the years]

    Were they never used by us because they were never needed or what? Assuming Ross Miller’s summary of Australian involvement in the Middle East is complete, there is no mention of fighters being deployed.

    I stand by the comment that fighter planes (all F-xx models) are outdated. The planes are unaerodynamic, can only be flown using computers and the pilot has to withstand several Gs and does bugger all, except work as a computer operator. He may as well stay on the ground. The future belongs to unmanned Stealth fighters. In the meantime, for the kinds of low level military insurance that Rumpole is talking about, the helicopters on order from the EU are more than sufficient. Whereas we need Whenuapai to launch a fighter from, which makes them a major liability (and is probably the reason that Australia has not deployed any), a helicopter can be launched from one of our frigates.

    These are the very same arguments which would have caused a National govt to make the same decision. The mothballed fighters have not been sold, because, as I said, they are redundant technology and no one wants them.

    When flight technology enables us to purchase and operate small scale unmanned surveillance and attack craft (drones), then it will be prudent to buy.

    Our helicopter purchase is in line with RAAF purchases, to ease joint exercises.

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