Tag Archives: NZ

America’s new animal cruelty law that ignores 99% of animal cruelty is not unlike NZ’s that sanctions a long cruel death by 1080

This post on changed laws in the US reminds me of NZ’s situation with 1080 that allows the long slow cruel death a vet has described as 2+ days of slow electrocution. The NZ authorities tweaked the Animal Welfare act to exempt the spreaders of aerially dropped 1080 poison from prosecution for cruelty. Same thing really isn’t it? Cruel but it’s deemed ‘okay’ because they are killing off everything non native for the biodiversity program we were signed up to under Agenda 21 now Agenda 2030. A truly ‘sustainable’ (not) practice. Unless of course it’s your pet dog, cat or other animal. EWR

From veganista.co  via exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com

“According to The Washington Post, the PACT Act “outlines exemptions for humane euthanasia; slaughter for food; recreational activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing; medical and scientific research; ‘normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice’; and actions that are necessary ‘to protect the life or property of a person.’”

Of course animal cruelty to dogs and cats by private citizens should be dealt with severely. But what about the billions of animals tortured each year on America’s factory farms? Or how about the tens of thousands of animals, including dogs and cats, who are tested on and mistreated in laboratories?

Can we actually say we’re cracking down on animal cruelty when we still allow SeaWorld to keep cetaceans captive and force them to perform? Or permit insanely cruel practices like fur trapping and bow hunting?”

READ MORE

https://veganista.co/2019/11/26/americas-new-animal-cruelty-law-ignores-99-of-animal-cruelty/

 

Did you know NZ is a leader in governmental use of AI?… there’s been a call for an independent regulator here to monitor & address the associated risks of the tech

From theconversation.com

New Zealand is a leader in government use of artificial intelligence (AI). It is part of a global network of countries that use predictive algorithms in government decision making, for anything from the optimal scheduling of public hospital beds to whether an offender should be released from prison, based on their likelihood of reoffending, or the efficient processing of simple insurance claims.

But the official use of AI algorithms in government has been in the spotlight in recent years. On the plus side, AI can enhance the accuracy, efficiency and fairness of day-to-day decision making. But concerns have also been expressed regarding transparency, meaningful human control, data protection and bias.

In a report released today, we recommend New Zealand establish a new independent regulator to monitor and address the risks associated with these digital technologies.


Read more: To protect us from the risks of advanced artificial intelligence, we need to act now


AI and transparency

There are three important issues regarding transparency.

One relates to the inspectability of algorithms. Some aspects of New Zealand government practice are reassuring. Unlike some countries that use commercial AI products, New Zealand has tended to build government AI tools in-house. This means that we know how the tools work.

But intelligibility is another issue. Knowing how an AI system works doesn’t guarantee the decisions it reaches will be understood by the people affected. The best performing AI systems are often extremely complex.

To make explanations intelligible, additional technology is required. A decision-making system can be supplemented with an “explanation system”. These are additional algorithms “bolted on” to the main algorithm we seek to understand. Their job is to construct simpler models of how the underlying algorithms work – simple enough to be understandable to people. We believe explanation systems will be increasingly important as AI technology advances.

A final type of transparency relates to public access to information about the AI systems used in government. The public should know what AI systems their government uses as well as how well they perform. Systems should be regularly evaluated and summary results made available to the public in a systematic format.


Read more: Avoid the politics and let artificial intelligence decide your vote in the next election


New Zealand’s law and transparency

Our report takes a detailed look at how well New Zealand law currently handles these transparency issues.

New Zealand doesn’t have laws specifically tailored towards algorithms, but some are relevant in this context. For instance, New Zealand’s Official Information Act (OIA) provides a right to reasons for decisions by official agencies, and this is likely to apply to algorithmic decisions just as much as human ones. This is in notable contrast to Australia, which doesn’t impose a general duty on public officials to provide reasons for their decisions.

But even the OIA would come up short where decisions are made or supported by opaque decision systems. That is why we recommend that predictive algorithms used by government, whether developed commercially or in-house, must feature in a public register, must be publicly inspectable, and (if necessary) must be supplemented with explanation systems.

Human control and data protection

Another issue relates to human control. Some of the concerns around algorithmic decision-making are best addressed by making sure there is a “human in the loop,” with a human having final sign off on any important decision. However, we don’t think this is likely to be an adequate solution in the most important cases.


Read more: Automated vehicles may encourage a new breed of distracted drivers


A persistent theme of research in industrial psychology is that humans become overly trusting and uncritical of automated systems, especially when those systems are reliable most of the time. Just adding a human “in the loop” will not always produce better outcomes. Indeed in certain contexts, human collaboration will offer false reassurance, rendering AI-assisted decisions less accurate.

With respect to data protection, we flag the problem of “inferred data”. This is data inferred about people rather than supplied by them directly (just as when Amazon infers that you might like a certain book on the basis of books it knows you have purchased). Among other recommendations, our report calls for New Zealand to consider the legal status of inferred data, and whether it should be treated the same way as primary data.

Bias and discrimination

A final area of concern is bias. Computer systems might look unbiased, but if they are relying on “dirty data” from previous decisions, they could have the effect of “baking in” discriminatory assumptions and practices. New Zealand’s anti-discrimination laws are likely to apply to algorithmic decisions, but making sure discrimination doesn’t creep back in will require ongoing monitoring.

The report also notes that while “individual rights” — for example, against discrimination — are important, we can’t entirely rely on them to guard against all of these risks. For one thing, affected people will often be those with the least economic or political power. So while they may have the “right” not to be discriminated against, it will be cold comfort to them if they have no way of enforcing it.

There is also the danger that they won’t be able to see the whole picture, to know whether an algorithm’s decisions are affecting different sections of the community differently. To enable a broader discussion about bias, public evaluation of AI tools should arguably include results for specific sub-populations, as well as for the whole population.

A new independent body will be essential if New Zealand wants to harness the benefits of algorithmic tools while avoiding or minimising their risks to the public.

Alistair Knott, James Maclaurin and Joy Liddicoat, collaborators on the AI and Law in New Zealand project, have contributed to the writing of this piece.

SOURCE

https://theconversation.com/call-for-independent-watchdog-to-monitor-nz-government-use-of-artificial-intelligence-117589

https://www.biometricupdate.com/201905/academics-call-on-new-zealand-to-regulate-ai-as-brookings-issues-guidance

Image by Computerizer from Pixabay

 

Pike River re-entry team to venture further into mine as WorkSafe gives green light

From tvnz (video at the link)

WorkSafe has this morning given the official Pike River re-entry team permission to move further up the mine’s drift.

The next step will see fresh air pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week and the team will move up the remainder of the 2.3km drift, beyond the 170m seal they reached some weeks ago.

Permission was needed from Worksafe to progress any further in the mine for safety reasons, which has been given today.

Sonya Rockhouse, re-entry campaigner and mother of one of the miners who died in the mine said this is what they’ve been working towards for the past nine years.

“At the end of the day, we’ve been saying it is safe for a long time and we’ve just had to wait for this process to go through. It’s really exciting,” said Ms Rockhouse.

“It vindicates what we’ve been saying all along.”

Ms Rockhouse said everyone has been waiting to get on with the job.

“We had no idea that it would end like this but its fantastic, all worth it. Morale is very high.”

On November 19, 2010, 29 men working in the mine died after an explosion at the West Coast site.

In that time, Ms Rockhouse said the families and re-entry campaign has faced a lot of negativity, even recently. She said those people should walk a mile in their shoes.

“A lot of people say it’s been nine years you need to move on, I wish I could move on that’s what we would like to be able to do but when somebody dies under normal circumstances you have a body and you get to grieve over that body and you get to go through the whole grieving process and we’ve got a huge chunk of that missing,” she said.

“”Imagine if it was your son or husband or brother.”

Today’s development comes after families of the Pike River victims travelled into the main drift on October 3.

SOURCE

 

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/pike-river-re-entry-team-venture-further-into-mine-worksafe-gives-green-light?fbclid=IwAR1V9gIU8XG-x1CoN2rC1IjFtvpfQQxpcpQfyySlTHdvIYl4GbZue2YB2ro

Photo: tvnz video screenshot

“They need food, I have food” says a Kebab shop owner in NZ who has been told to stop feeding the homeless

We’re seeing this scenario more and more. Interestingly, I’d thought it was a very recent corporate greed scenario with the complete heartlessness toward the poor. However I am reading a fascinating book by by Shashi Tharoor about what the British did to India (the title of the book pretty much, a must read too. He has a short video clip online which outlines the essentials in a debate at Oxford university if you search on Youtube). India was home to many famines one under Winston Churchill’s watch who deliberately diverted food from reaching the suffering Bengalis. Millions died, around 4-6 by memory. Anyway going further back in their history in the earlier days of Empire rule, during poorer times they would not allow people to feed the hungry either. Corporations are heartless cruel entities that care only for profits & they’ve been around a long time.  The stuff story is at the link below. This dear man since moving to NZ from India feeds the hungry & homeless on a Sunday night when business is quiet because he remembers being hungry & struggling himself…. EWR

Stuff.co.nz

A kebab shop owner who has been feeding homeless people on Sundays has been asked to stop by a local business association over concerns of anti social behaviour.

Zuhaib Abbas Bangash has been feeding the homeless every Sunday from 5.30pm at his West Auckland shop, Glen Eden Kebab, at Glenmall since November 3. 

But the selfless act has been criticised by the Glen Eden Business Association, who Bangash says told him to stop.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/117655869/kebab-shop-owner-told-to-stop-feeding-homeless?fbclid=IwAR3WXlk30VqNRyRTNENfki2dxxVa7z4Vir8qx89-znHty0t1Yg444ShBiKU

Photo Credit: Screen shot, stuff video

Fires are burning differently & more aggressively with aluminum oxide in the mix

 

INFERNO IN THE MAKING – ALUMINUM OXIDE AND FIRE.
I would like to think a lot of what I say in this video, is wrong but I don’t think that is the case.
Of course there will be the ones who say, “Fire has always wreaked havoc” but when there is something that has been added into the atmosphere, something that does act as an incendiary “dust” that’s where things change.
Can just about say, if you are under the age of say 15, what you see above is your normal sky, but those that have been around much longer, should see that these white trails, that extend and extend, spread out to create what looks to be cirrus cloud, is or has been dispersed from an aircraft.
As I said above, I so wish I was wrong but very curious to the fuel used and as you see, the information is out there, but across out media outlets, truth seems to be like hens teeth.

The North Beach weka that died of “unknown causes” had “both lungs exuding FROTHY PINK FLUID” consistent with 1080 poisoning

“So, Massey, couldn’t work out that “FROTHY PINK FLUID” is consistent with 1080 poisoning?”

From Clyde Graf:

So, as expected, the Department of Conservation has come out with porkies, again, trying to divert attention from its recent aerial operation and the hundreds of poisoned rats, and other animals that washed up on West Coast beaches. Drowning they say. Ha! Is DOC not aware that rats are great swimmers? They even have the tag name Water Rats. They don’t drown by accident or by Pied Piper fantasy stories, made up by desperate DOC staff.

The pathology report for the weka that was found dead, released this week from Massey (known for its creative alternatives to poisoning incidents – like the sea slugs that poisoned many dogs at Auckland’s Takapuna Beach after the aerial poisoning operation across Rangitoto Island, near Auckland) shows that the endemic bird died with “BOTH LUNGS EXUDING FROTHY PINK FLUID”!!!!

The weka’s Pathology report from Massey is included, below.

The finding is typical of animals that die of 1080 poisoning. But no, in this case, and as expected, the findings were “unknown cause of death”.

So, Massey, couldn’t work out that “FROTHY PINK FLUID” is consistent with 1080 poisoning???

For Heavens sake, when will these govt organisations actually show some independence? Oh, that’s right, they can’t! There is NO independence when it comes to 1080 poisoning incidences in New Zealand.

RELATED: Over 5 years NZ$3 million has been approved by DoC alone to the eight main NZ universities – so how independent is their research?

Copy of 77137871_2807092646002721_3590316501648801792_o.jpg

Just to remind DOC and Massey, here’s some photos of animals “EXUDING FROTHY PINK FLUID” after being poisoned with 1080 …

 

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Although DoC said it’s ‘UNLIKELY’ the deaths of 600+ rats found at a Westport beach were caused by 1080, independent lab testing confirms they “ALMOST CERTAINLY” were (See timeline)

TIMELINE : DoC’s ‘RATGATE’ AT NORTH BEACH, WESTPORT – INDEPENDENT LAB TEST RESULTS TODAY CONFIRM DEATHS “ALMOST CERTAINLY” 1080 POISON

by Carol Sawyer

1 – 3 November, 2019 – The Dept of Conservation aerially drops 104 tonnes of 1080 poison baits into the Maruia River catchment, to kill rats. This catchment feeds into the Buller River and out to sea at Westport.

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8 November — A Westport local spots numerous dead creatures (rats, birds, marine life) on North Beach, Westport, at the mouth of the Buller River, after heavy rain.

octopus found at north beach.png
A dead octopus, just one of many varieties of wild and marine life found recently on North Beach, Westport

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9 November – Locals collect a trailer-load of 680 dead rats, a goat, octopods, skates, sole, starfish, crabs, barracuda, monkfish, crayfish ( all bottom feeders which could have eaten 1080 baits washed to sea) and seabirds from North Beach and ask DoC for assistance.

doc buring the by kill.png
DoC dig a hole on the beach and bury the by dead wild and marine life washed up at North Beach, Westport

Doc dig hole in the sand and bury potentially toxic load on the beach. Freedom campers move elsewhere.

Freedom campers north beach
Freedom Campers at North Beach move on after discovery of the source of the dead wildlife washed up at North Beach Westport

Buller District Council announces, on behalf of DoC, that the aerial 1080 drop at Springs Junction the previous week (Maruia catchment) “may have contributed to the problem”, and advises caution.

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11 November – DoC, now moving into damage control, changes its story. On Prime TV News, West Coast Operations Director Mark Davies says ‘Doc thinks it’s unlikely the rats were poisoned by 1080 in a recent drop, then washed out of the hills by heavy rain. “I just can’t imagine that the two are connected”, he said.’

To Newshub, Davies said “… reports of dead fish and birds – along with the rats – are not consistent with the way 1080 is understood to work.”

However ‘One News’ hadn’t quite caught up with the new fairy story and said “”The Department of Conservation (DOC) said they may be victims of a recent 1080 drop 140 kilometres away in the Lewis Pass National Reserve.”

Also on 11 November, more dead rats and dead muttonbirds are discovered on a beach 8 kms north of Westport, seagulls are seen picking dead rats out of the sea at Waimangaroa Beach 17 kms north of Westport, and further reports come in of dead creatures found at Punakaiki and elsewhere..

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12 November – “DOC’s West Coast regional director of operations Mark Davies said the 1080 theory was however just that – a theory – and highly unlikely.” TVNZ News

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13 November – DoC’s Buller Operations Manager, Bob Dickson, clutching at straws now, announces a brand new DoC theory – The rats were committing suicide. They had run out of food and were all jumping into the rivers and rafting, dead, down to the beaches.

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15 November – First independent laboratory test results returned. Laboratory scientists’ professional conclusion is that the deaths of the beach animals tested were almost certainly caused by 1080 poison.

 

Autopsies suggest two native NZ kākā deaths at the Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary are due to poison from OSPRI bait stations

Tell me again, is DoC really saving our birds? EWR

From Carol Sawyer

This is on the Dunedin Ecosanctuary’s Facebook page today :

“LOCAL RESIDENTS: PLEASE REPORT SIGHTINGS OF SICK KĀKĀ

We are sad to report that two of our Ōrokonui kākā have died over the last week. Initial indications from autopsies suggest that ingestion of an anticoagulant toxin was the cause.

It is possible that the kākā may have accessed bait from stations used for eradicating possums outside the sanctuary. Ōrokonui staff have contacted Ospri, which is managing a large TB control programme in the Dunedin area. This has resulted in a rapid response with contractors removing bait from stations across the entire operation area of the programme as a cautionary measure.

We are asking local residents in the communities surrounding the ecosanctuary to keep an eye out for our kākā and to immediately report any sightings of unwell (or dead) birds. Both of our kākā showed similar symptoms before they died: unusual swaying behavior, looking lethargic and ill. Please contact the DoC Hotline 03 477 0677 from 8:30 to 5pm weekdays, or after hours on 0800 362 468 if you see a kākā behaving in this way. Dunedin’s Wildlife Hospital is on standby to treat any sick birds.

We take this opportunity to remind our wider communities to please not feed kākā as we do not want to encourage them to interact with human-made structures, particularly those that contain food, outside of the safety of the ecosanctuary.”

Photo of Kaka – Birding NZ

Why is NZ’s Min of Health ‘too busy’ to meet with a visiting 5G world expert (WHO/IARC) who helped classify 5G as a Class 2B CARCINOGEN? (Sue Grey Lawyer)

Ask yourself why … and if you are able do attend and hear the info from a world expert who is conducting a lecture tour in NZ. What an indictment on our corporation (aka govt) that does not want to know. Details of the tour are listed below. EWR

From Sue Grey  LLB(Hons), BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology), RSH Dip PHI

I wonder why the Minister of Health is too busy to accept an invitation to meet with world 5G expert Professor Dariusz Leszczynski who was on the WHO/IARC advisory panel that classified RFEMR as a Class 2B carcinogen during his public lecture tour of Auckland, Wellington and Nelson New Zealand this month.

Maybe its too hard to pretend our carefully chosen NZ experts know better when you are actually face to face with a world expert.

READ MORE 

http://suegrey.co.nz/index.php/2019/11/03/i-wonder/

DETAILS OF PROF DARIUSZ LESZCZYNSKI’S TOUR – 19-29 NOVEMBER

https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/11/05/professor-dariusz-leszczynski-to-speak-in-auckland-on-tuesday-19th-november/

https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/11/08/professor-dariusz-leszczynski-to-speak-in-the-hawkes-bay-sunday-24-november-2019/

https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/11/05/professor-dariusz-leszczynski-to-speak-in-wellington-on-wednesday-27th-november/

https://www.5g.org.nz/2019/11/07/prof-dariusz-leszczynski-lecture-in-nelson-friday-29-november/

The water source for Milford Sound drinking water aerial poisoned to 100 metres above the intake

Do exercise the precautionary principle folks, even if your authorities are not. And warn any tourists personally that you know. Generally they follow what the glossy clean and green brochures say, or omit to say would be more to the point. See further info on the precautionary principle below. EWR


MILFORD SOUND – A REPORT

by Carol Sawyer

Note: for recent related articles on Milford Sound go to this link.

Milford Sound was aerially 1080 poisoned on 15 October, 2019. A tourist operator tells me that the helicopters were even pouring 1080 poison on the vertical faces of Sheardown Peak (top photo) These are vertical faces, with the odd patch of bush hanging off them, where nothing will be living.

The water source for all Milford Sound drinking water, the Bowen River, was also aerially poisoned right up to 100 metres above the water intake, and just 200 metres from the Bowen Falls. Dead carcasses will also be in that waterway.

Last time part of this area was poisoned Shane Wilson drove all the way from Otautau, Perrin Brown came from Te Anau, and Margaret Dynes travelled all the way from Winton…. to record the event. Shane filmed tourists filling their water bottles at Monkey Creek while the choppers dropped poison overhead.

Header image: Sheardown Peak, Milford Sound

BOWEN FALLS MILF SOUND CAROLS
Bowen Falls, Milford Sound
SHOWS WATER INTAKE FOR ALL MIL SND DRNK WATER BLUE CIRCLE. RED LINE PIPE LINE TO HYDRO SCHEME
Map showing water intake for all Milford Sound drinking water (blue circle). The red line is the pipe line to a hydro scheme
DOC MAP OF MILF EDGE OF AERIAL 1080 DRP GREEN AREA POISONED
DoC map of Milford edge of aerial 1080 drop… the green area was poisoned.

The NZ authorities do not practice the precautionary principle with the spreading of 1080 poison. In fact they are now legally allowed to drop it into your waterways without the previously required consents, even though the manufacturer’s warning says take care not to drop it into the waterways. Whilst they continue to claim it is harmless, there is much independent research that says otherwise. (See 1080science for further independent info). In light of that, in my opinion it is safer to follow the precautionary principle, that is, proceed as if there were a possible risk to your health rather than assume there is none. Since 1080 is a known teratogen I believe it is particularly important for pregnant mothers or even those who think they may be or who could be pregnant, to distance themselves from an area where 1080 is being distributed, particularly aerially because of the drift of the dust over long distances.  I believe these are the concerns being raised here, and particularly also with regard to warning tourists of the risks of drinking the water, who may not be able to read the signs (if there indeed are any). Finally, of particular concern is the topography of Milford Sound. When it rains as per the above image, “all of the steep landscape can be considered a streambed”.  EWR.