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Bad politics

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, April 13th, 2008 - 89 comments
Categories: dpf, election funding, same old national, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

National’s current attempt to stop the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union from registering as a third party pretty much proves what we all knew. They have no interest in democracy.

Rather than accept the decision of the Electoral Commission and move on they’ve decided to appeal the decision and apply for an injunction to stop the EPMU from registering until a decision is made – something that could take several months and is designed to muzzle the fifty-thousand ordinary New Zealand workers the union represents.

Interestingly David Farrar has decided to out himself as the National party operative he is by providing evidence for National’s application. The irony is of course that David’s front-group, the Free Speech Coalition, registered as a third party unchallenged despite being funded by the same group of hollow men as the National party and David having considerable ties to the Nats himself. And fair enough, the EFA was never about stopping people campaigning but about making sure they had to do so transparently.

In my opinion National have fallen for their own spin and made a bad call. Bill’s attempts to scaremonger using the dreaded word “union” over the last couple of weeks have fallen on deaf ears. And there’s a reason for that: people are not scared of unions because they are voluntary and democratic organisations that do things like fight for 800 cleaners to get the deal they need to feed their families. Unfortunately for National, Bill still thinks people believe unions are full of smoky back-rooms and mobster types. That’s a bad call and shows how out of touch with New Zealand the National Party are.

This expensive litigation tells a story and that story is one of a political party that is supported by some of New Zealand’s wealthiest people demonstrating they are willing to spend a fortune in the courts to deny working New Zealanders a voice. In a year when National needs the backing of those working people to win the election that’s just bad politics.

As an aside I’d like to point out I made the call early this year that National would spend its huge war-chest on litigation in order to get around the EFA spending cap. I really thought they’d do it smarter than this.

89 comments on “Bad politics”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Will there be the same interest in the court case over nationals ‘undemocratic’ candidate selection process in Rakaia ?

    The Aussie media ( only in their home market it seems) are usually all over labour when it comes to assorted goings on in pre selection of official candidates.
    The Rakaia selection has it all! Yet do we see David Carter persued through parliaments corridors till he confesses. Does the Herald run full page headlines over the attck on democracy

  2. mike 2

    This will see the union shed a few more members. I would be pissed off if my $6 bucks a week was going towards fighting a court case brought about by Labours shambolic EFA.

  3. randal 3


  4. Anita 4

    It doesn’t seem like bad politics to me.

    If the Nats really want to test the EFA they’re much better to do so by challenging the unions then doing whatever the unions have proven if acceptable. No swing voter is going to care that they’re having a go at the unions. Plus, if they win they win, and if they lose they win as they can then set-up … I mean watch their allies set-up similar 3rd parties.

    For the Nats to have to defend an ally (or even stand aongside an ally defeding itself) is a much worse look with no chance of a big win, and a bad look if they were to lose.


  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Except Anita, the national party has been going on and on about the EFA is labour trying to muzzle free speech. Here they are appealing a decision that went the other way.

    If they were standing along side someone who was being told to shut up, it would fit their narrative. This one muddies that story line, because the have to sell the far more convoluted storyline that “We support free speech and that is why we are trying to get the Union to shut up, which is what the EFA really requires even though the ruling went the other way, which is why we are appealing it”.

    People who aren’t paying that level of attention will just see the Nats trying to get the EPMU to shut up. They see the Nat’s trying to limit free speech, and use the courts to get at their opponents. This goes 180 degrees against the narrative they have been selling. Far better to wait and see if any right wingers get in trouble, and then say “see we told you this was all about labour trying to muzzle it’s opponents”.

  6. Tane 6

    The vexatious legal challenge is bad enough, but it’s the request for an injunction that I find even more hypocritical. Silencing union members through an injunction does nothing to clarify the law – it has everything to do with National muzzling its opponents.

  7. IrishBill 7

    Anita, the issue is that the law has been tested and two high court judges have given the EPMU the green light to become a third party so the story is:

    1. National claims the EFA will stifle democracy by stopping the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    2. The decision is made – the EFA doesn’t stop the EPMU becoming a third party.

    3. National challenges decision and applies for an injunction to stop EPMU being third-party.

    It’s bad politics because National can no longer argue they are attacking the EFA. They are now clearly attacking working people.

  8. They are now clearly attacking working people.

    Using a tool crafted for them by Labour. For all that I hope National’s case fails, there’s a very rich irony in watching them using this law. Labour created it to try and prevent critics with money from publicising that criticism, and now here it is being used against Labour. Somehow I find my sympathy for the union rather diluted by this knowledge – unfair, but true.

  9. IrishBill 9

    Milt, the EFA was never about stopping critics with money publicising that criticism it was about making sure people knew where that money was coming from. Unions have always been upfront about who they are and who they represent in their election campaigning.

  10. Daveo 10

    I fear the media will either ignore this issue or give it the National party spin. National seems to get a free ride from the media on the EFA regardless of what they’re saying or doing.

  11. James Kearney 11

    if they lose they win as they can then set-up I mean watch their allies set-up similar 3rd parties.

    There’s nothing stopping National allies like Sensible Sentencing, Family First, the Brethren, John Boscawen, the Free Speech Coalition or the Business Roundtable from setting up as third parties and supporting National. Two of them already have.

    The EFA was never designed to stop partisan third party campaigns- it was designed to provide transparency on who each party is and where their funding is coming from, and to limit the amount any one group can spend.

    English lost the original challenge run by his proxy David Farrar so now he’s trying to misrepresent the intentions of the act and silence his opponents.

  12. r0b 12

    OK, pop quiz. Before you use Google to check – which NZ political commentator (while wrong about the interpretation of the law) wrote the following, strongly in favour of the EPMU’s right to free speech?:

    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is an important institution in our society. … it is the largest private sector union in New Zealand, with more than 45,000 members, and focussed on all the political machinations in Wellington. …

    In any free society, a trade union advocating politically would be uncontroversial. The whole collapse of the Soviet empire began in 1980 over whether or not Lech Walesa’s Solidarity union should be able to be politically independent. …

    The law needs to return to parliament to be amended to make clear that the New Zealand trade union movement is allowed to be properly involved in our elections. Unlike the Labour Party, we shouldn’t be afraid we might be corrupted if the EPMU or anyone else drops pamphlets in our letterboxes.

    I hope that this same commentator will now come out just as vigourously opposed to National’s attempt to stifle the free speech of more than 45,000 working Kiwis.

    What irony it is. After all their fuss about the sanctity of free speech last year – who are the ones shutting it down? National are silencing journalists, and National are silencing working New Zealanders. Shame.

  13. hopefully this backfires on national and results in a huge increase in union membership when they see how national thinks of workers rights

  14. Monty 14

    Of Course National may well win (I hope they do) then will you lefties retract what you have said and say this is a bad law? Do not forget that tere will be a delicious irony if the EPMU / Labour lose. After all this is Labour’s legislation and National Voted against it..

  15. dave 15

    So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law.

    Anyway wouldnt it have been better for Labour to write law that was clear? Of course! So Irish Bill, dont be too upset at National going to the courts, you should be annoyed that Labour didn’t write clear law.

    Thats the real bad politics of it all.

    IrishBill says: The EC said the EFA didn’t stop the EPMU from putting its members’ interests forward. National is now saying it should. That’s double-speak and I’m sure they’ll pay for it.

  16. r0b 16

    So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law.

    Ahh Dave, I think you are a wee bit confused there. Labour has said that it does not oppose National’s legal proceedings to clarify some aspects of the law. But it does not support Nationals appeal of the decision that the EPMU can register as a third party (where National is brazenly hypocritical in its attempts to silence working Kiwis).

  17. dave 17

    I didnt say which part of National’s court action it supports, did I, so no, I’m not really confused at all. I`m certainly not cojfised wehn I say that it would have been better for Labour to write law that was clear in the first place.

  18. r0b 18

    OK Dave, you weren’t confused. So I guess your first sentence “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law” makes no sense at all for entirely different reasons.

    It would have been better for Labour to write law that was clear in the first place

    They didn’t write a perfect law to be sure. But if they had, vested interests would still be challenging it, and we would still be having this conversation. Plus ca change.

  19. dave 19

    No youre wrong. If law is clear there is no need to go to court to clarify it. I thought that was pretty elementary to understand…

  20. r0b 20

    The bit that is giving me problems is “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either” . Huh?

    National is the party with no interest in democracy, they are the ones trying to silence 45,000 working Kiwis. I thought that was pretty elementary to understand

  21. Milt, the EFA was never about stopping critics with money publicising that criticism it was about making sure people knew where that money was coming from.

    That was the stated intent, sure. Unfortunately, neither bill nor act look like that stated intent. They look more like an attempt to load the funding dice in favour of the incumbent. Labour deserve their arses kicked for that alone. Not to mention: the clowns that came up with this unsubtle scam might usefully have stopped to think that Labour won’t always be the incumbent – in three years time it might be the Nats strangling Labour’s funding while taking full advantage of publishing “policy information” (snigger) at taxpayers’ expense.

  22. dave 22

    where National is brazenly hypocritical in its attempts to silence working Kiwis
    Working kiwis are not silenced by National. Hahahaha. Practically any group of Kiwis can register as a Third Party. Do tell how “National is hypocritical in its attempts to silence working kiwis”.

  23. r0b 23

    in three years time it might be the Nats strangling Labour’s funding

    Is it a full moon or something? Now P.M is making no sense. How does the EFA strangle any party’s funding?

    publishing “policy information’ (snigger)

    Grow up. People need to be told about policies that affect them and resources that they are entitled to use. What use would KiwiSaver or Working for Families be if no one knew about them? Should we do away with expensive health campaigns like those addressing the issues of drink driving and domestic violence? Should we maybe, keep elections secret, so no one gets to vote? Public information campaigns are a vital part of what government departments do, and your “snigger” is the snigger of a foolish schoolboy.

  24. r0b 24

    Dave, I notice that you haven’t answered the question. When you wrote “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either’ what were you talking about? Because I think you were entirely confused about the different legal processes going on.

    Do tell how “National is hypocritical in its attempts to silence working kiwis’.

    And we come full circle. Go back to the top of the thread and read the initial post. Read IrishBill’s comment of 2:35pm. It couldn’t be laid out much more clearly.

  25. dave 25

    Yes it could.. In terms my democracy comment I was merely stating that I think that Irish Bill thinks by implication that Labour has no interest in democracy. Of course I may be wrong, bur its not up to you to decide that, its up to IB.I did have another comment that somehow got wiped (nmust have been the captcha) It said that any subgroup of the 25000 working kiwis can register as a third party, so how is National silenceing working kiwis? Do tell, given that Ive answered your question.

    IrishBill says: oh dear Dave, you’ve tried to misrepresent my argument. That’s what people do when they are desperate and the right is obviously desperate to silence criticism on the issue of work rights don’t embarrass yourself by trying to claim black is white on this issue. You and other people of you unfortunate political ilk have nothing but disregard for working people. Why are you afraid to own that truth?

  26. Tane 26

    Dave, I’m genuinely having real trouble understanding your argument. Could you lay it out a bit more clearly?

  27. dave 27

    what part are you having difficulty with?

  28. Tane 28

    All of it.

    [captcha: Mr repititious]

  29. dave 29

    OK I`ll start with this bit, and lay it out a bit more clearly for you – and I`ll be real basic for you, given that you have difficulty in understanding what most people can comprehend

    Wouldnt it have been better for Labour to write law that was clear? Of course! So Irish Bill, dont be too upset at National going to the courts, you should be annoyed that Labour didn’t write clear law.

    Thats the real bad politics of it all.

    1. It is always good for government to write law that is clear and easy to understand. Then its citizens can know what to follow and what is outlawed, and authorities can correctly interpret the law. The EFA is unclear. If you don’t understand or agree with that, Tane, there is something wrong with you.

    2. If Labour had written clear law with regards to the EFA, people would be able to understand the law and its meaning. Therefore they would know what is within the law and what isnt. Therefore there would be no need to go to court to clarify this law. Given that the is misunderstanding, and Labour ministers have given confliciting opinions about the same points of law, there is need to seek clarification on that law. To do that the judiciary is the place to go to, so thats what National is doing, in part supported by Labour.

    Is that clear enough for you?

  30. Tane 30

    Dave, I’ll agree the EFA was poorly drafted in parts, but it’s pretty clear from the Electoral Commission’s ruling that the EPMU and other affiliated unions can register as third parties, just as the law intended.

    National should be overjoyed if they really care about free speech and democracy. But they don’t.

    Tell me, why else would National launch a judicial review to have the EPMU muzzled, and how does their application for an interim injuction help to clarify the law?

  31. r0b 31

    Dave, I’ve always been clear on that part of your argument.

    The bit that still puzzles me is: “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either’ . What part of IrishBill’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour has no interest in democracy? And – “either”?

  32. dave 32

    Its clear that the Electoral Commission said that the EPMU can register as third parties. (Crown Law had a bigger role to play in that decision). But its not as clear that it was how the law intended, which is more the point. National is not muzzling the EPMU, it is clarifying the law. If it wanted to muzzle the EPMU and prevent it from registering as a Third Party it would have put up an amendment at the time to do so and would have failed. The fact that the EPMU is caught up in it is unfortunate. Theres a limit to the time you can waste in parliament to fix up crap law and in the end if the Government refuses to pass decent law, despite its 150 amendments after a select committee, amnd failing to pass decent amendments from Natinal at the time, because of political rather than legal reasons, then its off to court to get it clarified.

    We dont need to know what the law says, we need to know what it means.

  33. Tane 33

    Dave, let’s lay it out simply:

    1) Parliament always intended for unions, affiliated or otherwise, to be able to register as third parties.

    2) National tried to argue the EFA forbids the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    3) The Electoral Commission has found the wording of the Act does not prevent the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    So what exactly needs clarifying here? And how on earth does National’s application for an injunction to silence the EPMU until after the court case help to clarify the issue?

    And this is just stupid:

    If it wanted to muzzle the EPMU and prevent it from registering as a Third Party it would have put up an amendment at the time to do so and would have failed.

    That course of action would have been far too blatant, and besides I don’t think National planned that far ahead. This is an act of political opportunism, and any New Zealander who cares free speech and democracy will oppose it.

  34. dave 34

    >What part of Irish Bill’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour has no interest in democracy
    The same part that can be interpreted as meaning that National has no interest in democracy.

    And Tane, I think an injunction is a sensible decision from a legal perspective as if the EPMU is not allowed to register as a Third Party, it shouldn’t now. The flipside argument is that if it is, it should be – but because the law is so unclear, nobody really knows whether they should or shouldnt, therefore until the law is clarified we don’t know whether teh EC was correct.

    All this is the fault of Labour, not Parliament, and certainly not the EPMU. Your conplaint should not be the legal process that National has undetaken, but the lack of clarity of the law, but you appear to be too biased to communicate that view for fear that it could be sayihng something less than positive about Labour.

  35. r0b 35

    The same part that can be interpreted as meaning that National has no interest in democracy.

    Nope, Ok, I give up. National are the ones trying to silence the EPMU. National are the ones who have shredded even the pretence of “clarifying the law” by taking out injunctions. National are the ones with no interest in democracy. No part of IB’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour condones these things unless you are terminally confused (and then too small to admit it).

    Goodnight, Dave.

  36. Wayne 36

    It hasn’t gone unnoticed that National’s highly principled attempt to clarify the law also happens to silence one of their biggest opponents.

    Did they really think we were too stupid to notice?

  37. Dean 37

    “National are the ones with no interest in democracy.”

    Oh, for goodness sakes.

    You people really do draw a long bow, don’t you? Seriously, it’s like something out of a bad, bad movie.

    “National should be overjoyed if they really care about free speech and democracy. But they don’t.”

    You should be overjoyed that the Exclusive Brethren voiced their opinion at the last election. But! Shock horror! You’re not.

    Why? Because you’re terribly, horribly biased. Just like the National party. In fact, you people seem to yearn to take every opportunity you can find to denegrate the “chinless scarf wearers” in any way you can.

    Really, it’s kind of sickening to see these kinds of double standards (no, that’s not supposed to be a pun) from people who want to trumpet the cause of “democracy”. And all in response to a post from Irish “Uncle Tom” Bill… well. I think that about takes the proverbial cake.

    IrishBill says: The problem with the EB is they wanted to campaign without people knowing they were campaigning. The EFB stopped that. At no time have the unions disowned their campaigns. New Zealanders have the right to know who is trying to influence their decision to vote. That’s transparent democracy.

    On the issue of your attempt to smear me: try it again and I will ban you for a month.

  38. Dave – you are the dumbest fuck I have ever seen on these blogs bar D4J. You may not have noticed this but no other rightie is backing you ‘cos this is a lost cause. National have given up all pretense of caring for democracy or for working people with this attack and it’s so clear no-one but a sad little house-slave like yourself is willing to try to deny it. Get a life you fool and stop sucking up to the shitbags that are trying to fuck ordinary kiwis like me. You make me sick you fuckin quisling.

    [lprent: 'sod you can say exactly the same thing without the language. I'd suggest strongly that you tone it down. How many bans have the moderators given you recently? It is starting to attract my attention. You should also notice that dave has managed his end of the debate without doing anything to attract my attention in this mornings scan.]

  39. dave 39

    piss off Porton, you sick child and stop hassling and smearing me with your abusive language or perhaps the nice people at the Standard will ban you for good, you loser. Why do you think I refuse to engage with jerkoffs like you?

  40. Dean 40

    “On the issue of your attempt to smear me: try it again and I will ban you for a month.”

    Go ahead and permaban me, Irish. I’m sure your hypocrisy will continue unashamedly.

  41. Grow up. People need to be told about policies that affect them and resources that they are entitled to use.

    I look forward to seeing the same “grown-up” attitude displayed when a National govt is helpfully telling us about its policies with the taxpayer-funded message “You’re better off with National,” exempt from being counted against its election spend, while Labour struggles with having its party secretary financially at risk from every non-authorised message that anyone in the party gives anyone in the electorate. Tell you what though – I’ll cheerfully stop writing “snigger” after “policy information” if Labour will stop using policy information as free election advertising.

  42. Occasional Observer 42

    The Electoral Commission–staff of two, including the Communications Manager, neither of whom are lawyers–is not the definitive authority on electoral law. They merely offer advice. Decisions of the EC are not binding. This isn’t like going to the Inland Revenue Commissioner and asking for a ruling on tax law.

    The EC’s determination was based on Crown Law advice, which again is not infallible. It’s not unreasonable to go and test it in Court, and get a binding decision on third party applications. Crown Law stated that there were no issues with the EFB and the Bill of Rights Act, despite the Human Rights Commission taking the unprecedented position of calling on a Government bill to be scrapped, on the basis that it breached Bill of Rights and other core human rights principles.

    If you allow the EC’s determination to stand, then you are opening up the door for sham third parties to set themselves up to avoid spending caps. Act on Campus could register as a third party, and say they are merely affiliated to the Act Party, just as the EPMU is merely affiliated to the Labour Party. The SuperBlues could apply to be a third party, and say they are merely affiliated to the National Party. The WildGreens could register separately.

  43. Occasional Observer 43

    That’s a good point, PM.

    We learned from the Labour congress this weekend that Labour Party activists are being asked to distribute pamphlets from government departments, explaining Labour’s key policies, with propaganda on how Labour supports those policies and National opposes them. What a coincidence that the promotional material won’t count in Labour’s spending cap.

  44. Sorry Lynn – I’ll tone it down.

  45. gobsmacked 45

    Some idiot in the Labour Party needs a right bollocking this morning. I’m sick of the gun-aimed-at-foot stupidity around this issue.

    This may be cynical (hell, it IS cynical, I admit it) but in politics you follow the basic maxim: “If you don’t want it on the front page, don’t write it down”.

    Get your act together, people. National should be toast, but you’re too busy jamming your own fingers in the toaster.

    Labour will win on the issues that New Zealanders care about (see Cullen’s superb speech yesterday, listing dozens of achievements), or lose on the stupid distractions, the gifts they generously give the opposition (which includes the Herald).

    I recommend a line from that fine Australian film ‘The Dish’, where the PM talks to the aspiring candidate:

    “We have a saying in the party – don’t fuck up … (pause) … that’s it”.

  46. higherstandard 46


    I agree the election will be won on issues NZ’s care about one of which is an inherent dislike of what on the face of it appears to be an abuse of taxpayer money for political purposes.

  47. Billy 47

    Thank God we have the Labour Party protecting openness and transparency in the democratic process


  48. IrishBill 48

    Yes Billy, very good off-topic link. But how do you feel about National trying to stop the EPMU from representing it’s members’ interests?

  49. Billy 49

    So on a thread about alleged abuse of electoral legislation, I can’t discuss its abuse by anyone other than those you want to talk about?

    You don’t want a blog, IB, you want a megaphone.

  50. Matthew Pilott 50

    Psycho Milt – I’d love the idea of National using government departments to advertise their policies. Can you imagine it?

    “You’re better off with National – why the 90-day bill will work for you, and why it’s easier to get a job because you can now be fired for no reason.”

    I’d do another, but National only have one policy. Oh wait:

    “You’re better off with National – why our boot camps will work despite best practice and international research showing involuntary boot camps are virtually useless.”

    So yeah, not likely there, and therein lies the rub for National, don’t you think?

  51. dave 51

    National is not stopping the EPMU from representing its members interests. Not all EPMU members are interested in breaking the law and campaigning to elect a Labour Government in work time using government department pamphlets – that were printed for other purposes – to do so.

  52. IrishBill 52

    No Billy, I want to know your view on National’s attempted injunction. As I understand it the advice to provide WWF materials to voters was brought up in an open meeting in front of media. I can’t see how that fits with the Herald’s secret agenda story.

  53. Occasional Observer 53


    Haven’t various right-wing organisations offered the your employer the right to use their authorisation on electoral spending?

    The Libertarianz aren’t going to spend all their cap. They believe in free speech, which is why they were the largest funders behind the Free Speech Coalition. Ask them for their authorisation to campaign.

  54. r0b 54

    I look forward to seeing the same “grown-up’ attitude displayed when a National govt is helpfully telling us about its policies with the taxpayer-funded message “You’re better off with National,’

    I think you may be confusing several different issues in that mess P.M. If you can show may an example of a government department (as opposed to the Labour Party) advertising “better off with Labour” then I’d be very interested to take a look. Otherwise, I’m not sure what relevance this has to the topic of government department advertising?

  55. IrishBill 55

    OO, I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you are talking about. Could you explain your comment more clearly?

  56. Billy 56

    Billy: So on a thread about alleged abuse of electoral legislation, I can’t discuss its abuse by anyone other than those you want to talk about?

    IB: No Billy…

    Full marks for honesty, IB.

    Here is what I think: Labour decided to make electoral law it’s plaything. If further evidence was needed, we now have them detailing a strategy (secret or not) to use the advantages of encumbancy in a quite cynical way. Add to this the Australian experience of the unions spending $10m to back Labor, and National have every right to think that Labour have used this law as nothing more thatn election tactic.

    The injunction is a natural consequence of Labour’s politicising electoral law.

    Labour drafted the law. It included the prohibition on those involved in running a political party from registering as a third party. So add ineptitude to their other shortcomings.

    And as for: “deny[ing] working New Zealanders a voice”, I thought this law didn’t curtail free speech, just the use of big money to do so. Or do we only run that line when it suits us?

  57. Billy 57

    “it’s plaything”

    Bugger. Misplaced apostrophe.

  58. IrishBill 58

    I won’t tell ‘Sod about the apostrophe.

    Ok Billy, Firstly full marks for decontextualising my words.

    Secondly, your points about the Aussie Unions’ election campaign and Labour writing self-serving law directly contradict each other. Surely if Labour wanted to write a law to serve itself it would not have allowed the unions to be capped to $120,000? (which, incidentally is much more that is spent on any union campaign I have heard of).

    Thirdly, the law was not about stopping money being spent but about capping how much could be spent and making sure who was spending it was not in doubt.

    And finally, National has tried to claim it is in favour of the EPMU campaigning but is injuncting it in order to stop it doing so. That’s a pretty big disconnect. I have no problem with National trying to muzzle workers. It’s pretty much what I expect of them. What I do have issues with is their attempts to claim they are the friends of working people while they are doing it. I also think it is bad politics because they need the votes of working people to win the election (and remember 370,000 of those working people are union members).

  59. insider 59


    If you want some catchy policy publicity why not these ones?

    your money is better off with Labour, as we know how to spend it much better than you do

    You’re better off with Labour if you like high itnerest rates, low house affordability, low productivity and lower wages.

    let’s not get too silly

  60. Steve Pierson 60

    insider. productivity is up, wages are up, and interest rates have been lower under Labour than National (I have a post on that for later in the day)

  61. r0b 61

    Billy: I thought this law didn’t curtail free speech, just the use of big money to do so. Or do we only run that line when it suits us?

    The law doesn’t curtail the EPMU’s free speech, as the Electoral Commission just ruled, based on an absolutely straight forward reading of the Act.

    None the less National is doing its best to challenge the law and try and twist it into a shape that could be used to curtail free speech. And adding legal injunctions to the mix, that have no other purpose at all.

    And you’re still here trying to blame the law? Pathetic. National are the ones trying to twist the law to silence 45,000 working New Zealanders.

  62. Occasional Observer 62


    Do you think the WildGreens should be able to register as a third party and campaign in parallel to the Greens? Do you think that Act on Campus should be allowed to do so, on ten different campuses, thus boosting the amount of money that Act can spend by $1.2 million?

    Because that’s what the law, as interpreted by the Electoral Commission, is saying by allowing an organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, such as the EPMU, to do.

    This makes a total farce of the government’s stated intention to get rid of parallel campaigning. It makes a farce of spending limits by political parties if two people heavily involved with a political party can set up a third party and increase their spending cap accordingly.

    I note that you seem to be cranky that National is seeking a declaration on this from the Court. I haven’t heard you say anything about National getting clarity from the Court on the definition of parliamentary purposes in a separate action–although because that bit of litigation is being encouraged by the Labour Party, it defeats your claim that National’s using its war-chest to tie up opponents in litigation.

    Nice seeing you all at Chow the other night.

  63. IrishBill 63

    OO, the EFA doesn’t allow Act on campus or branches of the labour party or any wholly subsidiary part of a political party to register as a third party. You seem to have misinterpreted the interpretation by the electoral commission. In exactly the same way Bill English and DPF have misinterpreted them.

    Your second point relies on the false information in your first for it’s validity and so is also false.

    And your point about me being cranky? Well I have to say that when I heard National was doing this I was stoked. I imagine the EPMU will take this opportunity to point out exactly what National think of Kiwi workers. Like I said bad politics.

    I’ve eaten at chow once in my life and it was over a year ago. If you did see me there last night I would be astounded. Tell me, are you trying to imply you are stalking me or was that a misguided attempt at friendliness?

  64. dave 64


    why arent you as concerned about the lack of clarity of this law to at least the same extent as your concern of National’s court action?

  65. Ari 65

    The EFA was never intended to get rid of paralell campaigning. Merely to make it accountable, and to assign it its own spending limits.

    The law is also pretty clear that groups like Act on Campus or Rainbow Labour or so on are not eligible third parties. I cannot see the Electoral Commission taking any such application seriously.

    The EPMU is very, very different to a party organisation. Denying them the chance to register would be like denying the Business Roundtable because of its ties to National, or denying Greenpeace because of its shared principles with the Green Party.

  66. dave 66

    .. except that the BRT and Greenpeace members are not given automatic membership opf a political pary and their officials dont have a governing role in any political party, nor do these organisations campaign for a poltical party, nor are they taxpayer funded.

    Ari quit while you`re behind…or chatch up

  67. Tane 67


    a) Affiliated union members are not automatically members of the Labour Party. They have voting rights in the party though due to their affiliation, if they choose to use them.

    b) The role of affiliates vice-president is elected by the affiliates and represents in an individual capacity the interests of all affiliates on the NZ Council, not the VP’s particular union.

    c) Unions are not taxpayer funded.

    d) ‘chatch up’???

  68. dave 68

    every EPMU member is automatically a Labour Party member should they wish to take it up – entitlement is automatic – you join the EPMU and you join Labour effectively. Okay taxpayer funded was a bitOTT- but teh PSA – and any other union whose mambers are primarily public servants – is government funded given that all members are public servants whose salaries – and union fees – are paid for by the state.

  69. hmm 69

    Irish Bill said:

    “OO, the EFA doesn’t allow Act on campus or branches of the labour party or any wholly subsidiary part of a political party to register as a third party. You seem to have misinterpreted the interpretation by the electoral commission. In exactly the same way Bill English and DPF have misinterpreted them.”

    Where does the EFA say that wholly subidiary parts are not allowed. All the EFA says in section 13 is that parties are ineligible to register. Parties are defined as those parties registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993. The New Zealand Labour Party is registered – therefore cannot register.

    Young Labour is not registered as a party under the Electoral Act. It is itself an unincorporated body which I imagine has its own rules and or constitution. It is therefore not a party registered under the Electoral Act AND because it is an unincorporated body it is not a natural person which means according to the EC’s determination that only natural persons can be ineligible because of involvement in the party that Young Labour would have to be registered as a third party.

  70. Tane 70

    Dave, grasping at straws.

  71. …is government funded given that all members are public servants whose salaries – and union fees – are paid for by the state.

    So, if you and a bunch of other people employed by private enterprise organisations form a club, that club is “funded by private business interests” – because that’s who’s paying all your salaries? I don’t think so. What you do with your salary is your business, not your employer’s.

  72. Matthew Pilott 72

    Dave – the PSA is state funded is it?

    If five public servants who were union members went to the pub would you say that their drinking session was state funded?

    What if someone worked for the PSA, was a union member and then used their income to pay for New Zealand citizenship!!! That would be out and out vote buying wouldn’t it!?!

  73. Billy 73

    r0b: None the less National is doing its best to challenge the law and try and twist it into a shape that could be used to curtail free speech.

    My point was, on the Labour Party’s previous argument, if this happened, the people’s free speech wouldn’t be curtailed, just the money they used to buy that free speech. Only you guys seem to abandon that as a defensible position when the free speech being curtailed is that which argues your position.

  74. r0b 74

    Billy – I was phrasing the debate in the same language that the Right has been using on this issue. Language is a two edged sword, don’t you think?

    If we are agreed that the fevered language and framing of the Right on the EFA as a “free speech” issue is inappropriate, then I will happily rephrase my comment more precisely. Are we agreed?

  75. dave 75

    If five public servants who were union members went to the pub would you say that their drinking session was state funded?

    GIven that Ive been a public servant and a PSA member, yeah, it would be state funded, particularly if the bar tab was paid for by the employer, as it often is.

  76. Billy 76

    Either we’re at cross purposes r0b, or I am really dumb. What are you on about, girl?

    At the great risk of labouring my point, I am saying that Labour’s argument has been that no-one’s free speech is curtailed by placing restrictions on how much money they can spend broadcasting that speech. If that is true, the EPMU’s speech is not being restricted. If it’s not true, you have to admit that free speech is being restricted by the Act (albeit, you might well say, for a greater good).

  77. So Dave – it’s my taxes that pay your wages. The thought of you spending your time posting right-wing filth on my dime is almost enough to make me vote tory just to see your lazy stupid arse get downsized.

    Billy – well done. You’ve picked up on a small rhetorical paradox. Now while you’re on a roll how about telling me whether you think people should be able to spend more than $120k to influence your vote and whether they should be able to do so in a way that means you will never know who they are or what their interest in doing so is?

  78. Billy 78

    ‘sod, are you just going to leave that “I am really dumb” alone?

  79. dave 79

    Robinsod, you child, hahahahahahahaha, you really are a loser, the best that you an hope for is to die in your sleep..

    [lprent: dave: I didn't give you a license to go childish either. You were doing quite well without this comment.]

  80. Billy 80

    I am glad I picked up on the paradox, because, reading r0b, I thought I was missng soemthing.

    The problem is that, if you restrict everyone else to $120k and then instruct your MPs on how to get the most out of the use of taxpayers’ money you are kind of leaving yourself open to the charge that you are manipulating electoral law to your best advantage.

    For more, see what the below member of the rabid member of the kiwiblog right has to say:


  81. Dave – I’ll outlive you no worries. Especially if you continue to refuse to take your pills.

    Billy – yes, yes, yes you’ve shown you can use irony now why not show you can answer my question without misdirecting.

  82. Billy 82

    The problem is not my answer. It is that you have asked the wrong question.

    The question should be about the fairness of the electoral system. It is invalid to pick out the parts of that system which suit your argument, and scream “misdirect” every time someone points out you’re missing something.

    If I am just not allowed to factor in the $47m a year that the government spends telling its story (and the fact that the government has instructed its MPs on how to use this to the best advantage of the Labour Party), then your question is unworthy of an answer. It will prove what you set out to prove, but only because it was only looking at a corner of the problem.

  83. Whatever, Billy. I should learn not to expect a straight answer from you.

  84. Billy 84

    OK. But we agree I win, right?

  85. Oh good lord. If it makes you happy then yes Billy you win. You are dead right it is indeed a good thing that National are stopping unions from campaigning. OK???

  86. Billy 86

    Well, at least that’s settled, then.

  87. AncientGeek 87


    Young Labour is not registered as a party under the Electoral Act. It is itself an unincorporated body which I imagine has its own rules and or constitution. It is therefore not a party registered under the Electoral Act….

    You are correct as far as my reading of the act goes. But you miss the point. A lot of the provisions of the EFA are about transparency and public accountability. If you campaign, then you cannot do it covertly and you must account for the full electoral period.

    We’re in April now, and as far as I can see, all major and most of the minor parties have been running some sort of campaign already. Under the old act this wouldn’t have had to be accounted for. It is probably 6-7 months to elections. This is what happened in 2005, but only the last 3 months in that campaign were accounted for, and very little was transparent.

    So far it looks like the act is doing exactly what was intended. Transparancy and accountability for the full election campaign

  88. r0b 88

    Either we’re at cross purposes r0b, or I am really dumb. What are you on about, girl?

    Cross purposes Billy, you don’t seem to be dumb. And bravo for not assuming that I’m male.

    At the great risk of labouring my point, I am saying that Labour’s argument has been that no-one’s free speech is curtailed by placing restrictions on how much money they can spend broadcasting that speech.

    Correct, if the restriction is $120,000.

    If that is true, the EPMU’s speech is not being restricted.

    Ahhh no, because the Nats are trying to set the limit for the EPMU at effectively $0, by denying them the right to register as a third party.

    So, spend $120,000, free speech not curtailed. Spend $0 curtails the free speech of an organisation of 45,000 people. Spot the difference?

    Now, it’s true that I am being deliberately provocative in framing this in the same language – “restricting free speech” – that the Right used in attacking the EFA (two edged sword). I’m happy to use less emotive language if we are agreed that the language used by the Right on this issue has been cynically and hysterically emotive.

    But whatever language we use, it is the case that EFA doesn’t meaningfully restrict the speech of (most) individuals or organisations up to a limit of $120,000. But the Nats are trying to twist it so that it does restrict the free speech of the EPMU, and also using another legal tool, the injunction, to the same end. Shame on them.

  89. higherstandard 89

    Congratulations to the Prime Minister on doing the right thing.


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    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Democracy and Cancer: A critical analysis of Dirty Politics
    Twenty years ago, England’s renowned television playwright Denis Potter died of pancreatic cancer.  Readers may recall his two masterpieces ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and ‘The Singing Detective’.  During a final television interview with Melvyn Bragg, Potter declared that he had named...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Cunliffe beats Key in First Leaders debate
    I watched the First Leaders debate at the Green Party #GreenRoomNZ, they were very kind to include me and the atmosphere was great. The debate was a resounding victory to Cunliffe. He won Round 1, Round 2, Round 3 and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • LIVE STREAM: The Green Room Leader’s Debate from 6:30pm
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators. ‘The Green Room’ 6pm – 8.30pm...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • How many taxpayer funded staff does John Key need to prepare for a Leaders ...
    John Key is currently at the Auckland Stamford Plaza with 40 staff, 4 undercover police cars and an entire floor booked out in preparation for tonights Leader’s debate. Isn’t 40 staff including coms, flown up to Auckland for a debate...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • A brief word on National Party Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell
    MP considers legal action against Nicky HagerThe National MP says he is considering taking a defamation case after the September 20 election.“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he said. Oh really champ? Brothers and sisters, there is a long way...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens advertise on Whaleoil – but not on The Daily Blog?
    PaknSave have shown ethical compass and blocked adverts on Whaleoil, yet the Greens are advertising on Whaleoil, and not The Daily Blog? I would imagine there are far more potential Green voters on The Daily Blog then ever are on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • It’s about the stupid economy stupid
    In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour Policy vs National Policy
    John Key’s favourite defence spin at the moment is people want to talk about policy and not hear answers on the ethics of trawling brothels, why Slater was given SIS information, blackmailing MPs into standing down, rigging candidate elections and hacking...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • The Green Room live streamed on TDB 6.30pm tonight for First Leaders debate
    The ‘Green Room’ will stream 6.pm tonight on The Daily Blog during the TV One leaders’ debate.Use #GreenRoomNZ to join in. The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Manukau East – the next Coalition in action
    A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of opening Voice Up – a youth forum run by young people in Otara. I had been asked as Chair of the Local Board to set the scene, encouraging young people...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Big Bang Theory
    It’s a shame that it took a brain injury for me to start seeing things with such startling clarity. The realisation that lawyering, fishing, parenting, selling cars and racing yachts had common themes was stunning. Not perhaps as stunning as...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how much Key aro...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • 5AA Australia – New Zealand’s Dirty Politics Aftermath and Polls
    MIL OSI – Source: Selwyn Manning – Analysis Headline: 5AA Australia – New Zealand’s Dirty Politics Aftermath and Polls 5AA Australia: On this week’s Across the Ditch bulletin on 5AA Australia, host Peter Godfery and Selwyn Manning discuss the aftermath...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • La’o Hamutuk calls for inquiry into Timor GAP ‘mismanagement’ of oil ...
    The Suai project on the South Coast … “liberated” land but confused communities.Photo: La’o Hamutuk David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. AN INDEPENDENT Timor-Leste development and social justice agency has called for an inquiry into the Timor GAP corporation...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • What Is Nicky Hager?
    WHAT WILL HISTORY MAKE of Nicky Hager? That slight, perpetually boyish, journalist who descends periodically, like the admonishing angel in a medieval mystery play, to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs....
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Can anyone in msm explain how after Dirty Politics that they all got played...
    Would you not think, that after reading Dirty Politics, that our mainstream media wouldn’t allow themselves to get tricked and played again by the VERY SAME discredited pundits? The best new feature on Radio NZ is their ‘Blog Watch’ and their...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Crusher Collins caught out lying about Privacy Commissioner – is this her...
    Crusher angry. Crusher smash own career. Crusher more angry. You would think that after getting outed as such a nasty, vicious piece of work in Dirty Politics, that Crusher would be scrambling to dial back the lies and manipulations. Apparently...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Cunliffe vs Key – first leaders debate
    This is your election ‘moderator’ – just one more reason an incoming Government need to sack everyone at TVNZ and reform it into an actual public broadcaster. The first leaders debate happens this Thursday, 7pm on TV One. I have...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – An Old and Honourable Profession
      When Dirty Politics started to reference an ex-prostitute I began to get antsy. My first response was “come on Nicky, we decriminalised in 2003. Its sex worker.” My second response was “Ah oh. Who was it and did they...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Bought and paid for: the dirty politics of climate denial
    Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receives from wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs,...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • If the msm read The Daily Blog, THIS wouldn’t be a surprise – explainin...
    Yawn. How embarrassing for Hamish Rutherford and Andrea Vance, their breathless article today suggests that the idea of Labour and NZ First cutting a  deal over the buy back of assets  is some how new news. Silly mainstream media  journalists. If...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??
    Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage. And I put out this media release for the Mana Movement: MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Hip hop death threats – the selective outrage of our media
    PM death threat in hip hop songAn Auckland hip-hop crew slammed for releasing a song with lyrics that apparently include a threat to kill Prime Minister John Key are urging young people to enrol to vote. Kill The PM, by...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes
    Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this!
    I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this weird spear tackle from behind by his own company. I was listening to this interview at the time, and the awkwardness of it must be the worst...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Is it weird Radio NZ ban me yet still have….
    Is it weird Radio NZ ban me for life because I criticised the Prime Minister yet still have Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and Jordan Williams, 3 of the main protagonists revealed in Dirty Politics as part of their ongoing political...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Christchurch GCSB meeting – why mass surveillance matters in 2014
    This is the video for last weeks GCSB meeting in Christchurch. Don’t forget Nicky Hager’s public meeting Wednesday night in Auckland, TDB will live stream the event in the interests of our democracy. Broadcast starts 7.30pm here on TDB....
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Assange, Greenwald to appear at Town Hall meeting? + KDC is not the hacker ...
    Wikileaks founder and the engineer of revealing some of the largest abuses of power in the modern era, Julian Assange, is rumoured to be appearing at the September 15th Town Hall meeting. Assange would join award winning investigative journalist Glen...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Why Paula Bennett will be the next leader and Hooton throws the Prime Minis...
    I don’t think the public have any idea of the behind the scenes meltdown now occurring within National. There are plenty of decent right wingers who all have ethical standards who have looked at what their leaders have been doing and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – That Awkward Feeling When Your Campaign Goe...
    Urgh. It’s a thankless and nearly impossible task politically firefighting some days. Somebody (who isn’t you, but who’s in your care, or whom you’ve got a close professional relationship with) does or says something stupid; somebody from the Media’s there...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Dirty politics goes viral
    Join the latest social networking craze this election that every Dog Cat and Jabba is putting on their facebook pages.     Joe Trinder – Ngāti Awa Born and born in Ōtepoti Ōtākou, Ex RNZN he is an Information Technology...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Blogwatch: An open letter to David Farrar: Please, be that guy
    Dear David, In light of  Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, you wrote a blog entitled ‘Some changes on Kiwiblog’ and you suggested it was time to tighten up ship on your website, saying “I want to improve trust in myself,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • What The Hell Was That! Reflections on the media’s coverage of the Intern...
    WHAT, EXACTLY, DO WE KNOW about the confrontation outside Internet-Mana’s campaign launch? Well, we know the news media was there in force. We also know Internet-Mana’s media person, Pam Corkery, blew her stack. We know that Corkery’s outburst led the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ 2014 Leaders Index – week ending 29 August
    Below is iSentia’s first weekly Leaders’ Index, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will produce these reports for the next three...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Judgment in Paki v Attorney General
    Tamaiti Cairns said that today’s Supreme Court decision is complicated, but, in essence opens the door for Maori people to go forward with their essential claims to water. Further work is required and Pouakani Trust will continue to pursue its...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Supreme Court Decision on Maori Water Rights
    “ … the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead. The Appellants had argued that the Crown’s ownership of the River was as a fiduciary for...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Leaders Dinner with Campbell Live, Dessert with RadioLIVE
    John Campbell is hosting Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Laila Harre, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Jamie Whyte and Te Ururoa Flavell LIVE from Auckland’s Grand Harbour Restaurant on Wednesday 3 September at 7pm....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Credit unions in the political spotlight
    Dirty politics was put aside last night as senior politicians outlined their universal support for growing the cooperatively owned credit union and mutual building society sector in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Maryan Street on issues of importance to older people
    Liam Butler interviews Hon Maryan Street MP on issues of importance to older New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Last Nights Leaders Debate Drives The #nzpol Wordcloud
    Following last nights leaders debate on TV One between John Key and David Cunliffe, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol from approximately the last 24 hours to produce this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Campaign suggests reason behind suicide gender statistics
    An online campaign about meaning and belonging has revealed an interesting connection with the difference in suicide rates between men and women....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Act Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data
    ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country. The figures show beyond...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids”
    It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Cannabis Laws Breach Treaty – ALCP
    Cannabis prohibition is neo-colonial oppression resulting in the disproportionate imprisonment of Maori, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • 2014 Variation Broadcasting Allocation Decision Released
    The Electoral Commission has released a variation decision on the amount of time and money allocated to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes for the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • New Zealand Shoppers- Demand Blue Tick Accredited Products
    Following ongoing concerns surrounding the issue of animal welfare in farming, particularly in the layer and broiler chicken sectors, the RNZSPCA is now asking consumers to purchase only eggs, pork, turkey and chicken that have been Accredited by the Blue...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Environment Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Environment Policy which recognises that New Zealand cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Candidate calls for an end to institutional racism
    29 AUGUST 2014 Tāmaki Makaurau candidate, Rangi McLean has spoken up in support of Irie Te Wehi-Takerei who was wrongfully accused of shoplifting at a Warehouse store in Manukau. "Over the last month, two different supermarkets have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Making tertiary education more accessible to Māori
    29 August 2014 The Māori Party launched its tertiary education policy today at Te Huinga Tauira o Te Mana Ākonga, the national hui for the Māori Teritary Students Association in Palmerston North. Te Tai Hauāuru candidate Chris McKenzie says the...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ Sign Language programmes receives $11 million boost
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with Education minister Hekia Parata’s announcement this week that $11 million in funding will go towards a range of New Zealand Sign Language initiatives, including First Signs – a programme that involves sign language...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Abortion violates the Human Rights of Fathers
    Fathers1Right to Life is concerned at the glaring imbalance that exists in law, in regard to the rights of men to defend the lives of the children they have fathered. Fatherhood commences at conception. Children in the womb, just like...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Hundreds to join march against male violence in Auckland CBD
    Hundreds of supporters are expected to join the 'Take Back the Night' march through central Auckland streets tomorrow night in solidarity with making the streets safe for women and the rainbow community to walk without fear of male violence....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Classic example of need for Conservative policy
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman, Garth McVicar believes the sentencing of killer Aaron McDonald is a classic example of why an overhaul of the parole and sentencing system is required.”...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Greens & Labour Politicising Bullying in Schools
    Family First NZ says that both the Greens and Labour are wanting to politicise and sexualise school children under the guise of bullying programmes rather than deal with the school bullying issue as it should be dealt with....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Wellington National Is Not Our Future Rally 30/8/14
    Thousands of people will march and rally at National is not our Future events on Saturday. Auckland is the main rally centre with supportive actions in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Hamilton. In Wellington, marchers will assemble at Te Papa...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • EPA grants marine consent for OMV exploration well
    The Environmental Protection Authority has granted a marine consent to OMV New Zealand Ltd for its Whio-1 exploration well in the Taranaki Basin....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • First anniversary of the horrific chemical attacks on Syria
    Members of the Syrian Community and friends are commemorating the first anniversary of the horrific chemical attacks on Syria, in Aotea Square on Saturday 30 August 2014, between 11-3 pm. The Assad regimes chemical attacks on al Ghouta were responsible...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Anniversary of the NZ Occupation of German Samoa
    Today, 29th August 2014, marks the 100 years centenary of the occupation of Samoa by New Zealand forces at the request of the British empire, ending the German rule of Samoa. It is also the starting point for the special...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Submissions sought on mosquito repellent
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a portable mosquito repellent for use outdoors. The repellent consists of a strip impregnated with metofluthrin, a substance from the pyrethroid family....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Spot the difference – the leaders debate
    I watched the Leaders' debate last night and was struck by the fact that John Key accepted all of David Cunliffe's basic assumptions. For example, he did not say that the government should not tell farmers who they could sell...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Colin Craig’s tax figures do not add up and are dishonest
    “Colin Craig’s tax plan is to have two rates of income tax: 0% up to $20,000 and 25% above that. This will leave a $6.4 billion hole in the budget even before the new spending proposed by the Conservatives. The...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Dirty Politics Impacts National Party Support
    Media Release – For Immediate Release Dirty Politics Impacts National Party Support Support for National has dropped by 4.3% to 50.8%, the latest stuff.co.nz / Ipsos political poll shows....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Labour’s environment policy welcomed
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird says that overall the Labour Party’s newly released environment policy would go a long way towards protecting New Zealand’s natural heritage....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • National: Not our Future Marches across New Zealand
    Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government's track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to oppose National's...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Tune in to tonight’s debate from 7pm
    The countdown is on! You can watch the first leader’s debate for 2014 tonight, 7pm, on TV One ....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Gamblefree Day 1 September
    It's Gamblefree Day this Monday 1 September, the national awareness day for problem gambling in New Zealand. While traditionally celebrated on the first day of September, many events and activities are held both before and after this day to raise...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Success through captioning should be a given as a Right
    Success through captioning should be a given as a Right per the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Alcohol Marketing Committee Questions Government’s Motives
    An Independent Expert Committee on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship (IECAAS) has been formed out of concern amongst alcohol and public health researchers about the government’s Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship (MFAAS)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • How Much Higher Can Auckland Prices Go?
    National's plan to liberalise the use of Kiwisaver funds and its proposal to raise ts cheap "Welcome Home" loan thresholds to help buyers purchase a new home has been welcomed by home building companies but attacked as a "welfare scheme...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • OPC submission period extended
    We have extended the submission period for the modified reassessment of a bee control affecting five organophosphate and carbamate insecticides (APP202142)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Vinay Deobhakta struck off roll of barristers and solicitors
    The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered former Tauranga lawyer Vinay Deobhakta to be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Major parties to front up for Climate Voter election debate
    New Zealand’s main political parties will take part in ‘The Great Climate Voter Debate’ on September 3....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Family violence… too big to be ignored
    As Annah Stretton gears up for her New Zealand Fashion Week show on Thursday she is utilizing her spotlight to help change the face of family violence in this country saying “the problem is far too big to ignore”....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Candidate’s SOS to northern Maori voters: Save our seats!
    (Extract from address by Rev Te Hira Paenga to Kura Hourua Maori Political Leaders hui, in Whangarei this evening)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Mary O’Neill to Stand for the Alliance in Napier
    The Alliance Party has confirmed Mary O’Neill as the Alliance candidate in the Napier Electorate for the 2014 election....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • TONIGHT [28/8/14]: The Great Political Comedy Debate
    It's a night for debating. You could stay home frowning at tonight's Leaders debate, or laugh it up with us at BATS!...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Cunliffe against personal responsibility over billboards
    The accusation by David Cunliffe that the Conservative Party is subscribing to a surveillance society by protecting its billboards via the use of motion sensor cameras reveals an anti-personal responsibility position by the about-to-be-retired Leader...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Groundbreaking health and climate conference
    The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding its first conference on climate change and health at its headquarters in Geneva this week, with New Zealand health experts in attendance....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Te Tai Tokerau Party
    Last night at the Leadership Academy of Company A debate Clinton Dearlove announced the creation of a new political party supported by Whanau and Hapu....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Significant fallout from Dirty Politics allegations
    Dirty politics ... costing National up to 3.8% of its pre-publication support Large numbers of New Zealanders are aware of and talking about the issues raised as a result of the publication of Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, according to...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Colin Craig is “deluded and dangerous” – Act
    “Colin Craig is proposing a radical transformation of our constitution. The Conservatives are proposing to overthrow of one hundred and fifty odd years of parliamentary democracy and replace it with binding referenda” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
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