From beginnings to nearly great

Jarrod Kimber at Cricinfo writes about the course of Black Caps’s efforts at the just completed world cup interspersed with a history of New Zealand international cricket. Well worth a read for anyone interested in cricket.

Led by their fearless captain, New Zealand threw themselves at this World Cup and came as close as they ever have done to greatness

New Zealand’s greatest almost

Well done Australia

New Zealand played very well through the cricket world cup and were admired world wide.

Good effort overall Black Caps, this will be looked back on as a success overall.

But they were  beaten by clearly the better team on the day today in the final.

Well done Australia.

New Zealand versus Australia – cricket world cup

Today New Zealand’s Black Caps get to see if they can lift themselves enough to beat the top ranked Australians in the final of the cricket world cup.

I hope they can but am realistic – it’s a huge challenge against a very experienced opponent playing on their home ground where they have not been prepared to play us for several years.

It will be a huge crowd in Melbourne but the Black Caps will have huge support from this side of the Tasman.

Let the best team win – and let that be us!

New Zealand versus Australia final!

Australia easily beat India in the second cricket world cup semi-final last night in Sydney. I stopped watching after 20 overs of the Indian chase, they were 3 wickets down and beaten looked etched in their faces.

So this means New Zealand have another chance to overcome Australia’s confidence, this time with home ground advantage to the Aussies.

It will be harder than the cliffhanger Black Caps victory in Auckland in their pool match.

Australia will be determined to turn the tables, and the resolved of the Black Caps will be tested at another level. New Zealand can’t afford to make mistakes that were scattered through the semi-final versus South Africa.

Here’s hoping it will be an epic match and the Black Caps haven’t peaked too soon.

We have nothing to lose (apart from the game, the tournament and the cup) – New Zealand have already achieved better than ever before and have outlasted more favoured countries.

They have won huge credit already for their results and the way they have played.

One game from glory.

Finally Black Caps

Finally, after six failed attempts, the Black Caps team that dared to dream big, dug deep and won their first world cup semi-final.

Both New Zealand and South Africa made mistakes along the way, interrupted by some Auckland rain, but both teams rose to the occasion. Fortunes ebbed and flowed through both innings.

In the end the Black Caps stood tall, Grant Elliot standing the tallest with a great innings and a magnificent wallop off the second last ball to clinch a win, while the South Africans slumped in despondency – they can be proud of their effort but there’s no avoiding the bitterness of defeat on an occasion like this.

Peter Meecham/Fairfax NZ

This is New Zealand’s greatest win backed by huge crowd support – described as electric – and a country familiar with late fades but now feasting on a fantasy come true.

Well, nearly. This was a semi-final. Can the Black Caps lift themselves to greater heights? The final is in Melbourne on Sunday.

McCullum summed up the night afterwards: “We’ve given ourselves a shot at World cup glory,” he said.

“It’s the greatest time of our lives as players. We are enjoying the experience. It’s been an incredible ride all the way through the crowds we’ve had turn up all the way through New Zealand for this team and the brand of cricket we have played has been phenomenal.

“We hope they are all dreaming as much as we are. we have a huge occasion in a few days time and jeez it would be nice to win it.”

- Stuff

The last six overs from Cricinfo:

Target is under 50. Six overs in hand

37.1 Morkel to Elliott, 1 run, short of a length, outside off, steers it down to third man for one

Morkel has two left, including this. A slip in place

37.2 Morkel to Anderson, no run, this is a really mean delivery, rising towards his nose from just short of a length. Hits his glove as he fends. Could have gone anywhere
37.3 Morkel to Anderson, no run, cut into the pitch, off the leg-stump line, bounces straight to point. Two dots. Pressure building?
37.4 Morkel to Anderson, no run, lovely delivery. Morkel building pressure. This one is a heavy ball. Just short of a length. Middle and leg. Holds its line, cuts him into two, but sails over the stumps
37.5 Morkel to Anderson, no run, appeal for a catch down the leg side as Anderson is beaten on the hook. SA appeal. NZ hope for a wide. Crowd boos as the wide is not called. This is a wide down leg really
37.6 Morkel to Anderson, OUT, Morkel has brought them back. Faf du Plesiss was never dropping this. South Africa roar. New Zealand slipping at the last hurdle? This has been a superb over by Morkel. Short of a length, around off, the ball gets big on him as he pulls. The top edge is massive. Kisses the moon before it comes back down. Du Plessis takes a lovely safe catch at square leg. Lets out a roar. But hold on. They are checking if this has kissed the spider cam wire on the way down. If it touches, we have a dead ball folks. The replays are inconclusive. In the dark sky with black cables it is hard to tell, and he is asked to walk on. What a farce it is that we have the spidercam. Encroaching upon the playing area. Has a farce been avoided narrowly? Conversation with the third umpire not relayed this time. How transparent

CJ Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 (80m 57b 6×4 2×6) SR: 101.75

End of over 38 (1 run) New Zealand 252/5 (46 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 6.63, RRR: 9.20)

Eden Park has gone quiet. Elliott and Ronchi have the sixth-wicket partnership world record. Surely they will rate this higher if they can get 45 or 46 here.

38.1 de Villiers to Elliott, 1 run, full, really full, dug out into the pitch, bounces over AB’s head for one
38.2 de Villiers to Ronchi, no run, on a length, pretty straight. Pushed back to hi. De Villiers has bowled gun overs here
38.3 de Villiers to Ronchi, 1 run, Ronchi is a straight hitter, and they have got long-on pretty straight for him. Driven straight to him for one
38.4 de Villiers to Elliott, SIX, bouncer outside off, Elliott is waiting for it, and hooks this over midwicket for a six. Massive relief for New Zealand for the time being
38.5 de Villiers to Elliott, 1 run, back of a length, outside off, slogged away to deep midwicket for one
38.6 de Villiers to Ronchi, 1 run, full and straight, driven straight again, and Behardien is pretty straight at long-on to keep them down to one

End of over 39 (10 runs) New Zealand 262/5 (36 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 6.71, RRR: 9.00)

Nine an over now. It has come down to this. What a beauty this game is turning out to be. Tahir to bowl out now

39.1 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, 1 run, worng’un, he hasn’t picked it, but he recovers well as it turns back in. Dabs it out for a single
39.2 Imran Tahir to Elliott, no run, moves across to flick this, but finds du Plessis at short midwicket
39.3 Imran Tahir to Elliott, no run, Elliott moves across the line, he bowls full and fast and yorks him up. Valuable dot
39.4 Imran Tahir to Elliott, 1 run, flatter delivery, pulled away to the left of Amla at deep midwicket. They don’t take his arm on
39.5 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, FOUR, lovely batting. Ronchi is a touch player. Flat length ball, into the pads, he has just chipped it. Just a caress. No back-lift, no follow-through. Just lifts it over midwicket for four
39.6 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, 1 run, low full toss, driven hard and down the ground, Rossouw rushes to his right at long-off, and fields. Keeps them down to one. Sensational effort

End of over 40 (7 runs) New Zealand 269/5 (29 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 6.72, RRR: 9.66)

It is getting tighter every ball. This is a cracker. Twenty-nine off 18; 28 will do it for New Zealand. Steyn is here

40.1 Steyn to Ronchi, OUT, he has picked out deep midwicket. This is just a length ball, and he has just played an instinctive aerial flick across the line. A nothing shot really, and he has found deep midwicket to perfection. A forgettable night for Ronchi. Dropped de Kock, wasn’t great with his collections. Steyn meanwhile is pumped up. South Africa might have their noses ahead here

L Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 (13m 7b 1×4 0x6) SR: 114.28

40.2

Steyn to Elliott, 2 runs, short of a length, makes room by arching back and cuts this to the right of third man for a couple

40.3

Steyn to Elliott, 2 runs, slower ball, short of a length, soft hands into the leg side, he rushes back for a risky second, and de Kock has missed him. De Kock is up to the stumps, Rossouw’s throw is accurate, but a little too full. De Kock’s gloves close early, he doesn’t collect the ball, removes the bails with Elliott miles outside the crease

40.4 Steyn to Elliott, 1 run, slower ball, clipped away off the pads for a single to fine leg

What a time for Dan Vettori to come in. Every dot is pressure here. Can Vettori do it one more time for New Zealand?

40.5 Steyn to Vettori, 1 run, walks down the wicket, makes room, exposes the stumps, Steyn fires in a yorker, the bat comes down just in time. The NZ fans skipped a beat here. They take the single to point
40.6 Steyn to Elliott, no run, pressure on New Zealand here. Low full toss, nearly a yorker, dug out to short straight midwicket where AB is in to save the single. Vettori is backing up too far. De Viliiers misses with the throw. They don’t get the overthrow because mid-off is in the circle

End of over 41 (6 runs) New Zealand 275/6 (23 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 6.70, RRR: 11.50)

Morkel has kept South Africa alive here. Can he bowl six good balls to give Steyn a big total to defend

41.1 Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, low full toss from round the wicket, Vettori makes room and drives, Amla makes a diving save at short cover. Saves three runs. What a contest. Everybody is giving it his all

Gyanesh Prakash: “I am sitting in my office and everyone seems to be reporting to Sidharth Monga now. Including my boss :)”

41.2 Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, what luck for New Zealand. Elliott plays the pressure shot. He goes back into the crease, premeditating a short ball. Morkel bowls length. He swings. The ball gets big. It lobs up into the night sky. Midwicket goes back. Two fielders from the deep on the leg side rush in. But it falls smack in between
41.3 Morkel to Elliott, 1 run, bouncer, Elliott thinks this is his opportunity, but it is a slower bouncer, he gets a bottom edge for one
41.4 Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, Steyn saves three there. Vettori moves inside the line to pull this to long leg. Steyn – dodgy hamstring – rushes to the right from fine leg and dives full length to save three
41.5 Morkel to Elliott, FOUR, Elliott pulls one back for New Zealand. He stays deep in the crease, moves across too to set himself up. Morkel thinks he wants to leg side, and he bowls full and wide. Elliott instead goes over extra cover. Nails it. Four crucial runs
41.6 Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, Collision. Collision. Elliott pulls from outside off, gets a massive top edge between deep backward and fine leg. Behardien gets under it. Duminy rushes in from fine leg. No calling. They have dropped it. In the meanwhile Elliott and Vettori have missed out on the opportunity to take the third because they are standing in the middle of the pitch, waiting to see what happens

End of over 42 (11 runs) New Zealand 286/6 (12 runs required from 6 balls, RR: 6.80, RRR: 12.00)

Steyn to bowl the final over

42.1 Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, Vettori backs away and swings, is beaten by a slower ball, but Elliott charges through to claim the strike

Eleven to win. Ten to tie. Anything will do. Dot. Wicket. Pressure from South Africa. This is a great match. Mid-off up, fine leg up

42.2 Steyn to Elliott, 1 run, full toss, drilled hard, in the air, on the bounce to cover. They get just the single

Steyn stretches as he walks back to his mark. Dodgy hamstring. “Daniel Vettori,” chants the crowd. The batsmen come up for a conversation. Play is held up as the physio comes in for Steyn. There is no way he will not bowl this over. It is the calf this time. A loud hush around the ground. The loudest hush you can imagine. Ten off four to win. Nine to tie. Steyn gets up after what looks like a couple of minutes

42.3 Steyn to Vettori, FOUR, Steyn bowls the yorker. The grand old man of NZ cricket Vettori makes room, opens the face with the horizontal bat. Squeezes this out perfectly to the left of third man for four. What a moment
42.4 Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, bouncer, Vettori misses the pull, Elliott rushes through for the bye, de Kock Misses at the striker’s end, Steyn misses at the non-striker’s as Vettori dives

Down to five off two. A boundary takes them home. Does Elliott think he has two balls to hit one boundary and turn down the single if it arises?

42.5 Steyn to Elliott, SIX, no he doesn’t. He hits this over long-on for six. Lets out an almighty roar. All 45000 roar with him. Steyn has bowled length. Why length at this time? Surely you would expect a yorker or a bouncer. Elliott – South African by birth – goes deep into the crease, and lofts this over wide long-in for surely the most important hit he has ever hit in his life. Why would you bowl length, Dale?

11.25pm Oh what a night. We will never forget it. Boult’s swing at the top of the innings, du Plessis’ absorption of all New Zealand could throw at him, Williamson dropping de Villiers, de Villiers and Miller exploding in the end, the rain, the readjusted target, McCullum making mockery of some of the best and most fearsome fast bowlers of the world, Morkel bringing South Africa back bowling with heart and menace, New Zealand losing wickets to nerves, Anderson and Elliott bringing them back, de Viliiers missing a run-out, spidercam nearly costing South Africa a wicket, de Kock missing a run-out, Steyn diving with a dodgy leg to save three runs in the penultimate over, Vettori squeezing out a yorker for four in the final, Elliott ending it with a six, the tears of Morkel, the roar of Elliott, what would this World Cup be without this match?

Cold-blooded analyses will question the selection of Philander; it will question New Zealand’s running, their fielding; we will look back ruefully at missed run-out. Equally we must cherish the execution of skills under such immense pressure. In the end the better team won, they shook hands, they hugged each other, nobody abused the other, and we can be thankful for that. Let’s just keep in mind that Elliott was the first man to go up to the vanquished Steyn and lift him off the pitch. It has been an absolute pleasure to bring this game to you. This is Sidharth Monga saying goodbye

11.20pm What rousing speeches from both captains. Yes, AB, your country can still be proud of you. Yes, Brendon, your country – and fans of your cricket all over the world – are dreaming as much as you are

Pawan: “This is what cricket is all about. No sledging, mind games or silly altercations. Just skill, passion and humility in defeat. Hold your heads high de Villiers and Mccullum. Your boys have given us a true spectacle of the game.”

Russell: “Very emotional for South Africa, they gave their best and lost in the last moment. In a game like this, both teams are winners – painful words from AB to end it, and congratulations to NZ.”

11.10pm “Pretty amazing,” says Brendon McCullum. “South Africa gave as good as they got all day. Great advertisement for cricket. Everybody involved will remember this for the rest of their lives. Keep raining is what I thought when AB was going. Two very destructive batsmen. The way we kept giving it in the field, the way we bowled, we did good. Even with the bat. We wanted to hang in till the end. What a great innings from Grant. Came out of wilderness not long ago. We had to generate some sort of run-rate early, that is what we tried to go. Credit to South Africa the way they played tonight and throughout the tournament. The greatest time of our lives. We have enjoyed the experience. The crowds that have turned, the brand of cricket we have tried to play. Hope the crowds are all dreaming the way we are. gee it would be nice to win it. We don’t mind whom we face in the final. They are both quality sides, but we know if we play the way we want to we are a good chance. Really proud to represent New Zealand.”

“Amazing game of cricket,” says AB de Villiers. “Probably the most electric crowd I have ever heard in my life. I guess the best team has come out on top. We gave it our best. No regrets. We left it all out there. It is hurting. It is going to take a while to recover. Worst of all is we don’t play for ourselves. The bigger picture is for the people back home. We play for them. I hope they can still be proud of us. There have been great performances. I felt we had a wonderful thing going. Had a great feeling. Don’t want to single out any performance. To the teams in the final, all the best.”

11pm Finally a beauty at the World Cup. Such raw emption after such a great show of skill, audacity, humanly mistakes. Joy, sadness. Smiles, tears. Roars of ecstasy, roars of anguish. We have seen it all tonight. After six agonising semi-finals, New Zealand have finally made it to a World Cup final. Martin Crowe will rest easy now. Dion Nash will rest easy. His is the lesser stories exit after his side had looked exceptional in 1999. I remember talking to him about it in 2009. He sat there for hours inside the dressing room, in an absolutely filthy mood. They can all rejoice today

And for South Africa, the wait continues. It is a cruel sport

“It’s great,” says Grant Elliott, the Man of the Match. “I don’t think this win is for myself or the team, but everyone here. The supporters have been amazing. We wanted to take it as deep as we could [The crowd is not letting him talk]. I think we timed the pace of the innings to perfection. Not as calm as I looked. When you have 45000 fans screaming at you every ball… It has been an absolute pleasure playing in front of this crowd. We have had a good run. It is the first final we have been in as New Zealand. We are a very level team, we will approach it as any other game. Nothing going in my mind when I hit the six. I don’t even know where the ball went.”

**

What a finish. Elliott has shown nerves of steel. South Africans are on the ground. Morkel, who gave it his all with the ball. Du Plessis, who weathered the storm with the bat, and ran every ball down in the field. They are weeping. Even Steyn. What emotion. Jubilation for New Zealand. Fireworks in the air. Tears at the ground. Sport at its best. Two immensely likeable teams. They have left it all on the field of play. Elliott you beauty. Came into the side at the last moment. Has held his nerve to win it for them. The ghost of 1992 lays exorcised in front of 45000 people. Fireworks in the rest of Auckland too

ICC Cricket World Cup - 1st semi final
New Zealand won by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining) (D/L method)
24 March 2015 – day/night match (50-over match)
South Africa innings (43 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal HM Amla b Boult 10 15 14 2 0 71.42
View dismissal Q de Kock c Southee b Boult 14 36 17 2 0 82.35
View dismissal F du Plessis c †Ronchi b Anderson 82 155 107 7 1 76.63
View dismissal RR Rossouw c Guptill b Anderson 39 77 53 2 1 73.58
AB de Villiers* not out 65 84 45 8 1 144.44
View dismissal DA Miller c †Ronchi b Anderson 49 23 18 6 3 272.22
JP Duminy not out 8 4 4 1 0 200.00
Extras (b 1, w 13) 14
Total (5 wickets; 43 overs; 196 mins) 281 (6.53 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ 0s 4s 6s
TG Southee 9 1 55 0 6.11 31 10 0 (1w)
View wickets TA Boult 9 0 53 2 5.88 29 7 0
MJ Henry 8 2 40 0 5.00 27 3 1 (1w)
DL Vettori 9 0 46 0 5.11 21 2 0 (2w)
KS Williamson 1 0 5 0 5.00 1 0 0
GD Elliott 1 0 9 0 9.00 2 0 1
View wickets CJ Anderson 6 0 72 3 12.00 12 6 4 (5w)
New Zealand innings (target: 298 runs from 43 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal MJ Guptill run out (Amla/†de Kock) 34 80 38 3 1 89.47
View dismissal BB McCullum* c Steyn b Morkel 59 32 26 8 4 226.92
View dismissal KS Williamson b Morkel 6 12 11 1 0 54.54
View dismissal LRPL Taylor c †de Kock b Duminy 30 57 39 4 0 76.92
GD Elliott not out 84 132 73 7 3 115.06
View dismissal CJ Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 80 57 6 2 101.75
View dismissal L Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 13 7 1 0 114.28
DL Vettori not out 7 19 6 1 0 116.66
Extras (b 6, lb 2, w 5) 13
Total (6 wickets; 42.5 overs; 212 mins) 299 (6.98 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ 0s 4s 6s
View wicket DW Steyn 8.5 0 76 1 8.60 25 7 4 (1w)
VD Philander 8 0 52 0 6.50 28 7 2
View wickets M Morkel 9 0 59 3 6.55 30 9 1 (1w)
Imran Tahir 9 1 40 0 4.44 28 4 0 (1w)
View wicket JP Duminy 5 0 43 1 8.60 9 3 2 (2w)
AB de Villiers 3 0 21 0 7.00 6 1 1

MATCH DETAILS


Toss - South Africa, who chose to bat
Series - New Zealand advanced
Player of the match - GD Elliott (New Zealand)
Umpires - IJ Gould (England) and RJ Tucker (Australia)
TV umpire - NJ Llong (England)
Match referee - DC Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire - BNJ Oxenford (Australia)

New Zealand versus West Indies

It’s crunch time for the Black Caps today as they take on the unpredictable West Indies in the last of the World Cup quarter finals.

The other quarters have gone according to predictions with South Africa, India and Australia having easy wins.

The Black Caps are favourites but anything can happen in cricket which depends on skill and commitment but mental application is also very important.

I won’t get much chance to watch the game but am just downloading a Cricinfo app for my mobile.

Here’s hoping for a good result.

Amnesty International spy poll slanted to support anti-spying campaign

David Fisher, spy reporter at NZ Herald, writes about an Amnesty International New Zealand and global survey on spying – Most Kiwis reject Govt spying – survey:

Kiwis have rejected government surveillance of their own communications – and that of people in other countries, according to new survey.

An Amnesty International survey of about 1000 people shows 63 per cent of Kiwis surveyed are opposed to the government monitoring and storing their own internet and mobile phone use.

It’s not surprising that most people don’t want their communications monitored and stored.But they weren’t asked if they supported the monitoring of communications of possible criminals and terrorists.

Prime Minister John Key has rejected the claims, saying there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders here or abroad.

Key also keeps emphasising that New Zealand law forbids mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

And it’s also not surprising to see Amnesty International do a global survey that shows opposition to spying. They publicised the poll in a press release yesterday – NZers part of global opposition to mass surveillance (Scoop).

New Zealanders part of global opposition to USA big brother mass surveillance

“Big brother mass surveillance” is a fairly loaded statement indicative of Amnesty International’s feelings.

The United States’ mass surveillance of internet and phone use flies in the face of global public opinion, said Amnesty International as it published a major poll to launch its worldwide #UnfollowMe campaign.

So the poll is part of a worldwide anti-spying campaign. That doesn’t give confidence of an impartial approach.

The poll, which questioned 15,000 people from 13 countries across every continent, including New Zealand, found that 71% of respondents were strongly opposed to the United States monitoring their internet use.

That’s not surprising, apart from it being only 71%. But it depends on what is meant by ‘monitoring their internet use’.

I don’t want a spy in the US monitoring everything I do on the Internet. But I don’t have a problem with the scanning of data looking for potentially dangerous intent.

“Today’s technology gives governments unprecedented power to watch what we do on the internet. We need independent scrutiny to watch the watchers so that power is not abused. Yet today there is little or no legislation in any country that really protects our human right to privacy against indiscriminate mass surveillance. Indeed, more countries are actually considering laws granting wider surveillance powers, at the expense of people’s rights.”

That’s blatantly misleading in a New Zealand context. We have laws that prohibits surveillance without having a specific warrant for a specific target, so it prohibits mass surveillance.

And we have an independent scrutiny via the Inspector General who’s job is specifically to “watch the watchers so that power is not abused.”

“Yet today there is little or no legislation in any country that really protects our human right to privacy against indiscriminate mass surveillance” is false. We have legislation for this in New Zealand.

Here’s some of the YouGov / Amnesty Survey Results.

Sample Size: 1008 New Zealand Adults
Fieldwork: 4th – 13th February 2015

Do you think the New Zealand Government should or should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile phone communications of…
…all New Zealand citizens living in New Zealand
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 22
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 63
Don’t know 15
…all foreign nationals in New Zealand
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 43
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 40
Don’t know 17
…people living in other countries
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 22
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use and mobile communications 53
Don’t know 25

According to our law the New Zealand Government is forbidden from intercepting or storing communications of all New Zealanders. So our law is supported by the first question.

Thinking about the United States government, do you think the US government should or should not intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand?
Should intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand 13
Should not intercept, store and analyse internet use in New Zealand 75
Don’t know 12

I’d prefer not, but it’s a risk of communicating on a public Internet. However we can’t do anything about what other countries monitor on the Internet – not just the United States government. Why just target one country?

Some people think that any surveillance of internet use should have to be subjected to transparent and independent judicial and parliamentary oversight, whereas others say some surveillance such as that conducted by government intelligence agencies is too sensitive for such oversight.
Which of the following comes closest to your view?
Any surveillance of internet use should have to be subject to transparent and independent oversight 49
In some cases, it is acceptable for internet surveillance to take place without oversight 40
Don’t know 11

That’s a fairly vague question with a split response. It depends on what level of oversight is involved. There’s insufficient oversight of what Google and Facebook and Twitter et al monitor. They have more impact on most individuals than Government surveillance.

Please now assume that New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies are intercepting and storing the data collected from the use of your internet and mobile phone. Please say whether you would be more likely or less likely to…
Criticise the government on social media, email or private messaging applications
More likely 15
Less likely 7
Make no difference – I would do this anyway 34
Make no difference – I wouldn’t do this anyway 34
Don’t know 10

“Please now assume that New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies are…“...doing something that is illegal and we have had repeated assurances by the Prime Minister and the Inspector General that they can’t and don’t do.

Please now assume that Amnesty International has used this poll for slanted opposition to spying.

I’d be interested in a poll on spying that was impartial and balanced, and genuinely attempts to determine opinion on spying.

This poll isn’t and doesn’t. It is being used as a campaign tool. It seems to have been designed with that in mind.

Amnesty International have been misleading and dishonest.

If the NSA published a poll in the launch of a campaign to promote spying I’d be just as sceptical.

And why is David Fisher (a senior reporter for the NZ Herald) writing an article based on a campaign associated poll without critical analysis?

The GCSB has been operating under a questionable legal basis for more than three years.The GCSB has been operating under a questionable legal basis for more than three years.

That’s an odd statement with a curious timeframe without anything to support it, especially considering the legal basis was changed half way through the last three years.

The report didn’t mention the fact that the poll is being used to promote an anti-spying campaign.

Fisher has been reporting under a questionable agenda basis.

Do ISIS have a Kiwi journalist hostage?

On RadioLive this morning Bill Ralston talked about a rumour that ISIS have a “a Kiwi journalist in their hands”.

SUNDAY MORNING PANEL: PHOEBE FLETCHER AND BILL RALSTON

From about 12:44

Ralston: Sort of running parallel to this and when you talk about encouraging ISIS to strike here in New Zealand, I mean that’s entirely possible, but I do continually hear a rumour that there is a New Zealand journalist in ISIS hands, that presumably the Government is not saying anything about that if that is the case, um for um um security reasons um so…

Sainsbury: What? For how long?

Ralston: Well I’ve been hearing this has been going on for some weeks, there is a Kiwi journalist in their hands. That’s entirely possible, New Zealand journalists run all over the world, particularly into hot spots.

If so that complicates the current issue and is likely to entrench opposiong views on deploying trrops in Iraq.

Siasnbury: And of course see the problem with these things isn’t it is that it could also be something that started and these things sort of feed off itself, but if that’s a, jeepers if that is true that means that the you know the implications  of the decision are even more serious.

Ralston: Keep an eye on YouTube I suppose….things could get very ugly. And I don’t know how New Zealand would react to something like that, if in fact they decided to um….

There would be range of strong reactions.

It would be given as a good reason why we shouldn’t get involved in the Middle East. And as a good reason why we have to be involved, because we’ll get drawn into it anyway.

It will make a difference if the journalist was captured before the decision to go to Iraq was made.

Black Caps versus Baggy Greens

Today is one of the most anticipated games of cricket for some time, between New Zealand’s Black Caps and Australia’s Baggy Greens.

It’s not actually a critical game in the World Cup. Both teams are likely to have no problems getting through to the quarter finals – although if Australia lose today and also lose to Sri Lanka they might get a tougher opponent in the quarter finals.

Barring rain out’s in New Zealand’s remaining days they should finish first or second on their side of the draw, depending on today’s result.

There’s more interest than usual because while Australia are in dominating form New Zealand are looking stronger than they have for a long time.

On a neutral ground Australia would be clear favourites still but at Eden Park it evens the odds somewhat.

I’m looking forward to the game but have mixed feelings.

I have some confidence that the Black Caps will at least acquit themselves very well and stand a realsitic chance of winning.

But having been a follower of them for many years there remains a degree of trepidation that we could get clobbered by our trans-Tasman cobbers, something like South Africa demolished West Indies yesterday (if you haven’t heard the result de Villiers got 162 not out, West Indies got 151 all out).

So I’m looking forward to the game and have hopes it will be a very good Black Cap effort but athere’s a niggling worry.

Currently the forecast is “Sunny with afternoon sea breezes” so the Baggy Greens shouldn’t be handicapped a second time by being rained out.

Marijuana now legal in Washington DC

The spreading legalisation of marijuana in the US continues with Washington DC now included.

Stuff reports Marijuana legalised in Washington DC.

Marijuana is now effectively legal in the nation’s capital even though Congress tried to stop it.

District of Columbia residents who are at least 21 years old are free to grow as many as six plants and possess as much as 2 ounces, as a measure approved by voters in November took effect on Thursday. It’s still illegal to sell the drug or smoke it in public.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, allowed legalisation to begin over the opposition of federal lawmakers, who have constitutional sway over the city.

In December, Congress attached a provision to the US budget that blocked the city from spending money to implement the measure. District officials said it doesn’t apply because the initiative was enacted before the budget. The police chief and head prosecutor agree.

“The residents of the District of Columbia spoke loud and clear,” Bowser told reporters on Wednesday. “We believe that we’re acting lawfully.”

Approved by voters, enabled by local government despite opposition at Federal level.

There’s no such options in New Zealand where addressing cannabis is stifled by the National led Government.

The decision thrust the city into the expanding nationwide push against marijuana prohibition. Alaska on Tuesday became the third state to legalise marijuana after Colorado and Washington. Oregon is to follow in July, when a ballot measure takes effect.

New Zealand looks like being a very slow follower of a world wide trend to allow some legal use of cannabis. New Zealand is already one of the highest per capita users via illegal growing and selling.

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