Dear NZ Police State – here is where I draw the line


I feel like I’ve done my bit.

Accepted this obscene amputation of my civil liberties.

Acquiesced to all public service announcements.

Self-curtailed my liberty.

And I’ve done it all completely willingly, I accept and acknowledge the urgent need to become a Police State overnight, I was calling for such measures from the beginning of this pandemic.

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The strength of our liberal progressive democracy is that a well informed citizenship will in solidarity act for the common good even if that responsibility demands a personal sacrifice.

We have all paid our sacrifice while history was watching.

We should feel proud of how we have stood tall in the face of this unprecedented moment and that our Democracy worked when so many others have been left gasping and shortchanged.

What happens next however matters.

The moment the medical science agrees, we need our full rights returned with no lasting State power over us and I fear that out in the murk of trying to find a way forward things are being considered that need serious push back.

Two of those are mandatory testing and mandatory digital tracking.

Let’s just be very clear, and draw the line so that the Government understand those options are a goose step too far.

If people wish to be tested for the virus, they are more than welcome to, but mandatory testing with all the data that would require?

That’s an enormous amount of power being handed over to the State and I would argue that is simply too far of an over reach into people’s lives.

The other concern is the sudden intrusion of mass surveillance Nazgul, Peter Thiel, into the digital tracking arena.

Again, if people wanted to volunteer that information that is one thing, but to make it compulsory?

We aren’t seriously letting Peter Thiel anywhere near a mass surveillance tracking idea are we?


It’s been widely reported including by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes that Palantir has built an anti-Covid web app that began running at the US Centers for Disease Control in late March.

It looks very similar to the confirmed start-up in the UK of a Palantir platform called Foundry, set up to crunch anonymised data from the NHS – from hospitals, labs and so on – to predict where resources like hospital beds will be needed.

The UK government said Palantir was not in control of the data.

“Foundry is built to protect data by design. A G-cloud data processing contract is in place. Palantir is a data processor, not a data controller, and cannot pass on or use the data for any wider purpose without the permission of NHS England,” it said.

In the US, Palantir’s CDC project has, according to media reports, avoided controversy because it appears not to be ingesting information that could identify individuals.

But Bloomberg reported that Palantir’s pandemic pitch to governments in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria included a tool called Gotham, best-known for helping intelligence agencies and the police track individuals.


In New Zealand, Palantir and co-founder Peter Thiel have both been controversial.

Two years ago, eerily prescient reports told how the Silicon Valley billionaire and his friends had begun buying property here – with central Otago a favourite – to use as boltholes in case of a global apocalypse.

Thiel has been a close ally of US President Donald Trump.

His citizenship here was fast tracked in 2011, though he had barely set foot in New Zealand. The previous government was forced to defend that.

As for Palantir, the NZ Herald revealed the company’s links to spy agencies the GCSB and SIS and the intelligence community, including multimillion-dollar defence contracts.

In the US, Palantir’s deep links to the CIA and National Security Agency have been widely reported on.

Just two days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Palantir got a jump on the virus, recalling its staff from abroad ahead of most companies.

RNZ has approached Palantir for comment, and will keep trying to get more information on this from the Health Ministry.

The GCSB told RNZ it was reviewing Covid-19 contact tracing tools to identify security risks and how to resolve those.

Brothers & Sisters.

We have been compliant with this Police State because we have universally agreed that the  curtailing of our civil liberties was required to defeat the pandemic, however there are limits to our good will and consent.

Mandatory medical tests and an Orwellian mass surveillance tracking system run by a company with deep ties to the deep state need to be the lines in the sand we are prepared to draw.

Government assurances today that any testing or digital tracking is voluntary must not be allowed to move tomorrow.

Our consent to a Police State for a virus the vast majority of us won’t die or suffer from is not endless, and to believe otherwise is a grotesque misreading of our compliance.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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  1. Agree 100%.

    “Mandatory medical tests and an Orwellian mass surveillance tracking system run by a company with deep ties to the deep state need to be the lines in the sand we are prepared to draw.”

    Mandatory testing and surveillance by anybody is unacceptable, and the government needs to know this right now.

  2. I am shocked that Jacinda is silent on this!!!

    Does she condone this?

    If so then I am doubly shocked.

    Great reporting Martyn my brother.

    No mass survielence must be allowed here.
    We canot trust the ‘establishment’ here,

  3. Another problem too will be how people interact with one another. There will be one group using the app and another who are not.
    Will shop owners determine who can shop and who cant?
    Will there now need to be two queues?
    The ‘app’ q and the farque?
    Another unintended consequence?
    This will create a different type of ‘cluster’ that will get another word added to it after.

    • Police states may begin for the noblest reasons of public safety but in the end police states always serve one purpose and one purpose only. Not to protect public safety but to protect one percenters. Keeping the status quo (usually extremely favorably for those at the top) is the raison d’etre of a police state. And Hone radicals aren’t the problem. He’s the one who gives mr. Policeman a justification to step on our rights. It’s Joe Public who is the real enemy of the police state. Because when ordinary people refuse to take it any more, like in the springbok tour, the riots of the 30’s or even Serbia in the 90’s that’s when the police state comes crumbling down.

      The deepest pressure comes form with in. The more we listen to our enemies the more we realise they are our enemy. Listen to any authoritarian figure Mr Hitler or who ever and the more it will become clear that every single authoritarian figure is our enemy. We have to accept this painful fact that authoritarian figures are our enemy.

      This is the tragedy of lefties in New Zealand is we need a UBI, education reform, health reform, Reserve Bank reform, tax reform, welfare reform to confront neoliberalizm. We clearly need some kind of transnational regulation which is beyond the control of market forces and so on but how do we do it because we do need these things but there is no formula for it. We need from Jacinda experimentation, maybe be we get some workers to run bits of AirNZ or maybe we need capitalists to run bits of Fletchers or maybe Taranaki would benefit from a UBI trial or maybe some people just need to tracked more closely we need this wide broad reaching experimentation.

  4. As they say “never let a good crisis go to waste”

    Jesus…..when will the majority actually wake the f*** up and see where this is heading for your not only us living in this ‘1984’ nightmare but for our kids!
    Some of us are old enough to remember the Berlin Wall and the distain the WEST had for East Germany & the Stasi……etc
    They weren’t supposed to be things to model off! But post 9/11……what has slowly happen to our Civil Liberties & Rights globally?

  5. The government seem to be pushing this magic vaccine narrative as well via their media shills, probably with encouragement from the disease research community who make their living from medical funding. In this scenario citizens will not be safe until this vaccine is found and until then, the threat levels will always be present, always on the minds of citizens. The danger may ebb and flow but we will be kept on edge by declarations from government, health bureaucrats and police. Compliance with the pandemic narrative will be rewarded, rents and wages paid, token freedoms offered, food supply continued. Those questioning the actions will be ostracised via media reports, subject to propaganda using mechanisms such as divide and conquer, or will just be arrested without just cause. The disease commentary will last for months, we will receive daily updates of how the vaccine production is proceeding, we will hang on every word from every specialist beamed into our living room by the government’s media houses. All the while we will be told that the threat of catching the disease is imminent, that the death tolls will rise, that the situation will only get worse. Community heroes, industry leaders and a new societal order may emerge. We will happily trade our freedoms and privacy for protection from this invisible enemy. We will be safe in the bosom of the state.

  6. Ardern’s counsel Austin Powell said people were subject to significant limits during lockdown, but had the autonomy to make decisions about essential travel.

    “There is no requirement that you obtain permission in advance or that you report on your movements,” Powell added.Here’s what you can and can’t do while New Zealand is on lockdown, under Level 4 alert for Covid-19.
    He said the Covid-19 alert levels imposed no demand people stay in their homes for a minimum number of hours each day.

    “This doesn’t get far enough to be considered a detention.”

    Justice Peters agreed that she did not consider the man’s family to be detained as they remained free to engage in many of their usual activities.

    “In my view, the freedom to exercise whenever they wish, to go to the supermarket whenever they wish, to talk to whomever they wish, and to access the internet whenever they wish is quite different from being held in custody,” she said.

  7. “Government officials proposed suspending the Official Information Act during the coronavirus lockdown – a suggestion that was headed off after the intervention of the country’s official information watchdog, Newsroom can reveal.”

    Another example again of …..”never let a good crisis go to waste”

  8. @ MB…? But we’ve been mass surveilled for years.
    Via our spending habits, through our housing and education systems etc, motor vehicle registrations, births, deaths and marriages, compulsory enrolments ( But, tellingly, not compulsory voting. ). The internet and cell phone tracking is a relatively new thing therefore it’s not the first thing.
    And we were guinea pig pioneers when eftpos was introduced here.
    Wikipedia :
    “…EFTPOS technology originated in the United States in 1981 and was adopted by other countries. In Australia and New Zealand, it is also the brand name of a specific system used for such payments; these systems are mainly country-specific and do not interconnect. ”
    Go to Google Earth and see, in incredible detail, where we are, who we are and why we are.
    And, is the Google Earth we know and love the most advanced version of [it]? Or is there another, more highly detailed and ever updating version of it looking down our shirt collars as I write?
    I watched a documentary on militarised drones, the big fuckers. They have cameras that are so advanced that they can photograph the hair on your head from 2 miles up. And each camera , so it was revealed on the documentary cost more then $2 million US each. And the drones stay up there, over their designated target indefinitely. When the active drone runs low on fuel a call goes out to be replaced by another… @ two miles up. ( 3.2 km) and almost out of sight and sound.
    It’s my belief that the moment debate re surveillance is mooted publicly? Change is afoot.
    We’re being psychologically groomed to acquiesce to someone else’s agenda.
    This, on RNZ this morning.
    “More people make the case for rich investors coming to NZ”

    Well, I for one would love riche, vulgar ‘people’ coming here to, for example, change the Queens Chain to prohibit me from walking my dog on their beaches or go fishing along their lakes and rivers.
    Surveillance is like a virus. The moment we hear about it, it’s too late. It’s already spread and will be spreading exponentially .
    jonky sprung a multi million dollar flag change fiasco on us then spent millions on a new picture on our cash money. ( No. They’re not magic mushrooms on the $50 note.)
    Why? Why did he do that? Why did he give warner bro’s tax breaks and over a hundred million dollars of our money, when we have homelessness and child poverty to SIR and I repeat S.I.R. ! peter fucking jackson?
    Fuck pete Jackson! He can just fuck right off!
    I think [it] was to psychologically and covertly install in us a carefully scripted sense of the inevitable.
    I think it was a tactic to distance us from The Crown then [they] will hope we’d be robotically inclined to ’vote’ to become a ‘republic’.
    Once AU/NZ becomes a republic? Every dirty crook on our poor old limping, raped, beaten, poisoned old earth will be all over here like ticks on a dying dog.
    Here’s three names for you to ponder. Jonky, adern, theil.
    Theil was one virus that slipped right past our Immigration office to call himself a Kiwi while this Tongan woman had to go home paralysed and without on-going care because she didn’t have a kiwi pass port.
    Go us, right?
    Deportation for paralysed Tongan woman justified – lawyer

  9. When do you think we will see a report of who was stopped, where by region, city/rural area, town and yup ethnicity. How many roadside stops in Remmers for instance compared to say, Manurewa? And why? General stop or ‘suspicion’ criterion or general profiling and “they looked ‘familiar/suspicious’ kinda feeling!

    Thats one thing I suppose the corona-virus cant change? The ole Casual & Institutionalised Racism.

  10. The question remains. Was any of this unprecedented or necessary? Was this convenient crisis caused by an irresponsible media-inspired panic?
    Our own Dr Simon Thornely tried to counsel caution. Epidemiologists all over the World did likewise:
    Now that the testing results are coming in, it seems they were correct:
    “A month ago, we interviewed Dr. Jay Bhattacharya just as the COVID-19 crisis was shuttering the economy and governments were ordering citizens to shelter at home. In that interview, Dr. Bhattacharya mentioned that he himself would soon be conducting tests for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, California, one of the most active hotspots in the country. Today Dr. Bhattacharya returns to discuss the results of that study and one currently under way in partnership with Major League Baseball……
    Dr. Bhattacharya discusses his findings with Peter Robinson from Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Watch:

  11. “According to their new findings, the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 is significantly lower than previously assumed. “If you take these new numbers into account, they suggest that the fatality rate for this new coronavirus is likely to be “in same the ballpark of seasonal influenza,” says Dr Ioannidis.”

  12. Firstly: “social distancing”: this should be called “physical distancing”; if a virus can be airborne and it is dangerous to be near potentially infectious persons, one can stand a little further away, obviously, but polite conversation and small but meaningful social contact could and should be still achievable. Secondly: where are the facemasks? it would be a lot cheaper to issue every citizen wishing to make a public appearance with a facemask for the occasion, rather than paying a few hundred zillion dollars to an already outrageously rich person with some tracking software. Don’t tell me Palantir gives a damn about the ‘Privacy Act’.

  13. Country Boy said most of it.

    My view is that police are agents of the state. Watching Merata Meta’s film of Bastion Point and seeing columns of police marching up to the Point to deliver to Maori who are occupying their own land, tells us all.

    Bob Jones once said that he’d drive on the wrong side of the road if he felt like it. Who respected his entitlement? (He was just a crafty lad from a state house – as was Key). We do hold to rules that protect our safety. Bomber you concede this was necessary to restrict the spread of covid-19, despite your loss of civil rights. CB has pointed out this notion of civil rights is pretty fluid. Now you extend the line/extend your case for civil rights into the scarey mass surveillance world of Peter Thiel. Already our state uses these powers. In Dick Scott’s book on the 1951 waterfront dispute, Scott publishes a poster that the Natz used as their election propaganda. It asks ‘was your phone tapped?’ This revealed state surveillance of unionists. It appealed to the ‘law abiding’ citizens who returned a Natz government.

    This is a scarey world for those who don’t toe the line, don’t support the status quo, as Nicky Hager keeps telling us. It’s a world where capitalists and capitalism rule but in everyday life usually disguise their control, the iron fist.

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