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David Farrar badly needs night school

Written By: - Date published: 3:08 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: blogs, crime, David Farrar, education, electoral systems, john banks, john key, police, political education, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

In Kiwiblog this morning, David Farrar appeared to be running a 9th floor pre-pump for John Banks to resign. But I was rather incredulous when I read the following paragraph…

I don’t think the Judge has actually helped the Government by delaying the decision on entering a conviction. Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government. I’m just saying I think it would have been cleaner to make the decision as the same time as the guilty verdict.

My bold and italics as my jaw dropped to the floor at the sight of a self-professed political commentator being that blindingly ignorant about the relationship between the courts and the executive. Or being so ignorant of the usual legal processes in NZ that they don’t know what a pre-sentencing report is and what it implies.

What does he think? That the courts even consider what the government wants has any relevance to a judges decision? What a dumb fool.

But since I don’t know of any civics courses in the 23 remaining night classes that his government has deigned to leave running in this country, we’ll just provide the basics that a decent civics program would provide.

There is no provision for the courts to notice anything from parliament apart from the actual legislation, regulations validly promulgated from that, and the intent of the MPs at the time that the legislation was passed. Even then, generally judges take far more notice of the precedences in local and overseas courts on the same or similar cases to fill out the vast holes that most legislation is.

What Justice Wyllie did was ask for a pre-sentencing report before passing sentence. These typically take between 6 and 8 weeks to prepare and be read. So the judgement was rendered on June 5, and the sentencing date is (surprise, surprise) 8 weeks later.

But to round out the night class for David Farrar, political and legal dunce, and much of the rather badly educated media the pre-sentence report consists of..

Pre-sentence Reports

Judges routinely order a pre-sentence report where an offender pleads guilty to, or is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment. Pre-sentence reports are prepared by probation officers, who also supervise offenders living in the community after receiving community-based sentences or after their release from prison.

Pre-sentence reports contain information about:

  • The offender’s personal background and family (whanau) circumstances;
  • The lifestyle and other factors which are considered to have contributed to them committing the offence;
  • Recommendations relating to courses of training or treatment which might assist the rehabilitation of the offender;
  • An assessment of the risk of further offending;
  • A recommendation as to the appropriate penalty, including proposed terms and conditions for the offender’s supervision, training and treatment within the community whether immediately or upon release from prison.

A range of programmes designed to assist offenders is available. Straight Thinking is a programme aimed at promoting life skills needed to avoid further offending and STOP is a programme designed to address the causes of violence.

Judges may also ask for psychiatric and psychological reports, which are commonly obtained for offenders who have mental health and/or drug or alcohol addiction problems.

It doesn’t appear likely that the court will be that likely to look at a discharge without conviction. See Andrew Geddis and Occassionally erudite for the why.

Andrew Geddis: Banks redux

Fourth, it is true that Banks only has to leave Parliament if he gets convicted of the offence he is guilty of (conviction and guilt are not the same thing). But I really, really hope he doesn’t get discharged without conviction – New Zealand has a terrible record of pursuing and punishing electoral offences (the police still haven’t actioned a bunch of complaints from the last election campaign!), and so to (effectively) let off an MP for breaching electoral law would reinforce the message that these sorts of rules really don’t matter.

Occasionally erudite: John Banks – A criminal, but not yet convicted

Will Mr Banks be successful in his application for a discharge without conviction? Probably not, but what would I know? I was fairly certain he wouldn’t be found guilty in the first place! At least I’m in good company there though, with Professor Geddis…

Mr Banks would have to show that the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the gravity of the offending. I don’t know what consequences Mr Banks intends to put before the Court on 1 August, but to my mind they’d have to be pretty damned serious to outweigh the gravity of attempting to undermine the transparency of our local government democracy. Given that a Pre-sentence Report has been directed that includes a Home Detention appendix, the Court is signalling that it’s relatively serious offending.

Fortunately the rest of David Farrar’s advice from on high (9th floor of the beehive?) is of a better standard.

However politically I think the honourable thing to do would be to accept that a guilty verdict has been rendered, and to resign from the House of Representatives before sentencing and the decision on a discharge. Not doing so would be a significant distraction for the Government, which should be talking about the economy, better schools, more operations, welfare reform etc, rather than having to be defensive on an MP remaining in Parliament after he has been found guilty of an offence which would result in a loss of his seat once if a conviction is entered.

Indeed. This is a pretty accurate statement about why  for the country it would be preferable for John Banks to stay in parliament. Especially considering the actions of John Key in avoiding looking at the evidence of a MP deliberately breaking electoral laws. Or that of the police not making a charge when they clearly had enough for a conviction.

45 comments on “David Farrar badly needs night school”

  1. kenny 1

    I think he meant ‘not’ instead of ‘now’.

  2. You’ve got very excited over what is a one letter typo. The context makes it clear that I am saying the court should not have regard to what is best for the Government. I mistyped not as now. So I don’t need night school thanks very much. I just need to check for typos better.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Yeah nah, you’re still demonstrating ignorance of the pre-sentencing process.

      I figured it was a typo but it still doesn’t get you off the hook – Winston’s right: the timing of the election makes a lot more sense now.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      So DPF you can understand the left’s interest in this issue. ACT has always been a National puppet party whose existence depended on National’s nodding and winking to the Epsom electorate.

      So why doesn’t Key put an end to the charade and state that Banks should resign?

      • toad 2.2.1

        And the rort goes on, Micky. Paul Goldsmith has just refused to participate in the TV3 Epsom candidates’ debate, presumably for fear that it might encourage people to vote for him.

      • alwyn 2.2.2

        Your knowledge of history is surely better than this statement shows isn’t it MS?

        “ACT has always been a National puppet party whose existence depended on National’s nodding and winking to the Epsom electorate.”

        “always” the man says.

        You are surely aware that in 1996 ACT got 6.10% of the vote, Richard Prebble won Wellington Central and they had 7 MPs.
        In 1999 they got 7.04% of the vote and 9 MPs.
        In 2002 they got 7.14% of the vote and 9 MPs.

        It was only after Don Brash was leader of the National Party in the 2005 election that they could be considered to be a “puppet party” as Brash supporters often had views that covered the ACT spectrum.
        By the results in the first 3 MMP elections I suppose it would be fair to describe the Green Party as only being a puppet for the Labour Party. After all the elections prior to 2005 would show that ACT were more popular than the Greens.
        If Labour could get a competent, and popular, leader instead of Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe they would probably decimate the Green Party vote.

    • lprent 2.3

      You’ve got very excited over what is a one letter typo. The context makes it clear that I am saying the court should not have regard to what is best for the Government.

      Actually the context does not. It makes sense exactly as written if you were one of these people that felt an entitlement to rule. In fact rather like a typical tory. Or Judith Collins…

      I figured as much after I read it a few times. However I can’t go on what was in your mind, just on what you wrote at the time (and didn’t correct).

      That was why there was a “mischief” tag on the post. However I just couldn’t resist using it as a come-on to run through the pre-sentencing education, to highlight adult education, and why it was unlikely for Banks to get a discharge without conviction.

      Not to mention your many and varied 9th floor connections.

      • lurgee 2.3.1

        You need more, or better, coffee.

        The posted version, “I don’t think the Judge has actually helped the Government by delaying the decision on entering a conviction. Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government,” doesn’t really make sense.

        “Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government” does not work as a sentence. “Now that it is” requires something more, a continuation. “Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government, we must all consider green pants and eat cat food on our heads,” makes some sort of sense, more than what was posted. Farrar’s botched version was nothing more than a loathsome, misbegotten, mis-shapen, miserable fragment, clinging to another for meaning and purpose – a veritable ACT Party of words!

        “Not that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government” does.

        That should have been enough to alert anyone in a civilised state of caffeination, without recourse to several readings.

        • lprent 2.3.1.1

          It was first thing in the morning, I was reading in bed. Coffee would have required getting out of a warm bed.

    • tc 2.4

      But its likely you will need new revenue streams after your polling and other activities for this govt expire along with them in sept david or take less overseas holidays.

      • lprent 2.4.1

        Now that is unfair…

        Not all of his income comes from parliamentary services or the public purse.

        The National party itself pays for a lot of it.

        😈

    • jaymam 2.5

      It was clearly a typo to me.

    • Huginn 2.6

      A Freudian slip, then 😉

  3. karol 3

    Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government.

    This looked to me like it included a typo by DPF. ie it’d read better, and seems to me more likely, if it said <

    Not that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government.

    • lprent 3.1

      Amazing the difference of meaning from one letter eh?

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        It shows the risk of the old tory “contradictory statements” ploy. The outrageous-comment:equivocation:reinforce-first-comment routine.

        All well and good when it’s spoken, like key uses all the time, but who’s to say the intended sentence was

        Not that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government

        rather than

        Now that it is the Judge’s role: to care about the impact on the Government.

        Lol.
        I’m not making a claim that farrar would be so honest as to argue that the judiciary should support a tory government. I’m simply stating that if you’re going to walk a narrow tightrope, you should try really hard to avoid slipping.

    • Tracey 3.2

      even accounting for the typo it had an element of

      Sigh, bugger that we have seperation of powers…. Otherwise…

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The lifestyle and other factors which are considered to have contributed to them committing the offence…

    Hours of fun to be had there.

    Hanging around with Tories. Low levels of contact with out-groups. Narcissism. Bigotry. Chris Hipkins (Banks deserves some leniency after all).

  5. Weepu's beard 5

    W is three keys away from t on my keyboard.

    Is David sure it wasn’t some subliminal slip of the finger?

  6. TheContrarian 6

    Wow, an entire piece predicated on a single typo. Nice work LPrent.

    • lprent 6.1

      I’m afraid that the blogging mischief standard was set rather low back in 2008 when David Farrar and Cameron in the National double teaming expended a number of posts attacking a company I’d previously worked at. The reason was that we were acting as each others secondary DNS, including The Standard.

      The two mischief makers proceeded to devote a number of posts to the subject about that company helping Labour when it was obvious from the DNS records what was happening. After all David Farrar was on InternetNZ around then and should have been completely aware of what a secondary DNS was.

      Following that, I’ve never seen any particular reason to not hook readers into a post using their public scrotums as the lure.

      I consider it to be a public duty in that it tends to improve their behaviour as well as increasing this sites readership. And it satisfies the Polish part of my nature (the bit that really believes in vendetta) that would really prefer to do them; to use exactly the same tactics on them as they use on others.

      Besides most of the post (have you actually read it?) is about the pre-sentencing and possible outcomes from John Banks trial with a pointer to the ACE reestablishment announcement from Labour today

      • TheContrarian 6.1.1

        Come on sweetheart, don’t tell fibs. You jumped on to Farrar’s typo with great zeal and now, upon realising your error, you backtrack and say it was all on purpose as a mischievous joke.

        Hush now dear, we all get it wrong sometimes. You can use this as a growing experience.

        [lprent: I’d like to point out as a moderator that it is a really bad idea to try to tell an author what they were thinking when they wrote their post. I’ll let it go this time. If it was someone elses post, I’d be giving you a ban as a repeat offender. ]

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Nope. I read it several times and his post was internally consistent with the fallacy. For instance that idea that John Banks had a hope in hell of getting a discharge without conviction because he was “honourable” after that judgement was really strange. The judgement said that he wasn’t because of the deliberate withholding of information that would have led to an accurate electoral return.

          It was also consistent with “the divine right to do whatever they want” attitude that has been dogging this government since they went into power. How many ministers have they lost so far?

          And it was a bloody nice hook for the post.

          BTW: I actually wrote this post this morning without the kiwiblog stuff a few hours after I read his post. I was expecting him to have corrected the post. But I guess that no-one at Kiwiblog pulled him up on it (I haven’t read the comments section).

          Since he hadn’t, I rewrote it for the mischief.

        • TheContrarian 6.1.1.2

          “I’d be giving you a ban as a repeat offender.”

          Not sure I have ever done that before.

  7. Rob 7

    Perhaps there will be a new Adult Education Course of on-line anger management that will be brought forward under Labours plan. Looks like a few people would benefit from some education in this area.

    • lprent 7.1

      Ah where is the anger?

      This is mere mischief… Haven’t you read David Farrar’s statement at the top of his site?

      DPF’s Kiwiblog – Fomenting Happy Mischief since 2003

      He can hardly complain if others follow his precept eh?

      After all, it isn’t like he doesn’t do this a lot himself. For instance in this post he appears to ignore the word “introduce”and somehow get the word “urgency” as he dog-whistles some fools to attention.

      If that isn’t “mischief” (or a dishonest mistake), then one would have wonder what he was trying to do?

  8. Wonderpup 8

    It’s OK. He can claim never to have seen it, and not been aware of the mistake, as he just hit the “submit” button without having read it. That’s a reasonable defense, right? Oh no, hold on…

  9. redfred 9

    I can’t image a discharge without conviction for a crime of electoral fraud; it goes to the very core of our democracy. We are talking about the role of the judiciary keeping the politicians honest; and holding them accountable, very weighty constitutional stuff. I cannot imagine a judge not upholding and seeing through this fundamental judicial responsibility of keeping our democracy corruption free.
    I think Banks will resign so he doesn’t suffer the indignity of expulsion; he won’t want that on his Wikipedia page!

    • lprent 9.1

      The mischief maker in me really hopes that he does not.

      • redfred 9.1.1

        Unfortunately we will suffer a tearful watershipdowns like valedictory speech from the dis-honorable cabbage boat rider 31 July.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          And a standing ovation from Labour as they say goodbye to a great statesman who has always done his best for the people of New Zealand? After all, they managed it for Sealord Jones.

    • David H 9.2

      As was noted somewhere else ( I can’t remember where) there are still complaints from last election that the Police haven’t looked at yet so the Police are going to be under a microscope over this latest cluster fuck by them.

  10. Jrobin 10

    Some rain must fall….sob ……emote……..I love you John Armstrong…….beagles……rats have feelings……..
    Yes we can tell you do John just a pity you have no ethical standards.
    Stay as long as you like as an MP at least your position is now up front and apparent to all.

    • BLiP 10.1

      Perhaps not surprisingly, John Banks got that quote wrong. Its actually a “into each life some rain must fall” and was a 1940s (not 1930s) song by the Ink Spots, although the original quote comes from Longfellow’s 1841 poem “A Rainy Day”.

  11. Ron 11

    Wonder if that would include a defendant that claims to suffer from memory loss

    Judges may also ask for psychiatric and psychological reports, which are commonly obtained for offenders who have mental health and/or drug or alcohol addiction problems.

  12. ianmac 12

    A defendant facing conviction and sentencing has to show remorse. Therefore Mr Bank’s belief that he did nothing wrong must count against him – musn’t it?

  13. felix 13

    Yeah it was a typo alright. He meant to type FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!

  14. Penny Bright 14

    FYI

    WHY JOHN BANKS SHOULD LEAVE PARLIAMENT – NOW! (In my considered opinion)

    Some useful FACTS and LAW regarding the rather pivotal definition of ‘convicted’ / ‘conviction’?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM308531.html

    (Electoral Act 1993)

    How vacancies created

    55 How vacancies created
    (1)The seat of any member of Parliament shall become vacant—

    (d) if he or she is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for life or by 2 or more years’ imprisonment, or is convicted of a corrupt practice, or is reported by the High Court in its report on the trial of an election petition to have been proved guilty of a corrupt practice; or

    LAW DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS OF ‘CONVICTION':

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/conviction

    Conviction

    The outcome of a criminal prosecution which concludes in a judgment that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged. The juncture of a criminal proceeding during which the question of guilt is ascertained. In a case where the perpetrator has been adjudged guilty and sentenced, a record of the summary proceedings brought pursuant to any penal statute before one or more justices of the peace or other properly authorized persons.

    The terms conviction and convicted refer to the final judgment on a verdict of guilty, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere. They do not include a final judgment that has been deleted by a pardon, set aside, reversed, or otherwise rendered inoperative.

    thelawdictionary.org/conviction/

    The Law Dictionary Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed.

    Law Dictionary: What is CONVICTION? definition of CONVICTION (Black’s Law Dictionary)

    In practice. In a general sense, the result of a criminal trial which ends in a judgment or sentence that the prisoner is guilty as charged. Finding a person guilty by verdict of a jury. 1 Bish. Crim. Law,

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/conviction

    Definition of conviction in English:
    conviction
    Line breaks: con|vic¦tion
    Pronunciation: /kənˈvɪkʃ(ə)n /
    NOUN

    1A formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence:
    she had a previous conviction for a similar offence

    (THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH DONE BY FELLOW ANTI-CORRUPTION ‘PUBLIC WATCHDOG’ – EX-POLICE PROSECUTOR GRACE HADEN):
    ……………………
    It appears that we have no definition for “convicted” in our statutes anymore and somehow through sleight of hand the word conviction has become to mean something after being found guilty.

    The old crimes act pre June 2013 defined conviction in section 3
    3. Meaning of “convicted on indictment”—For the purposes of this
    Act, a person shall be deemed to be convicted on indictment if—

    (a) He pleads guilty on indictment; or
    (b) He is found guilty on indictment; or
    (c) He is committed to the Supreme Court for sentence under section 44
    or section [153A or section] 168 of the Summary Proceedings Act
    1957; or
    (d) After having been committed to the Supreme Court for trial, he
    pleads guilty under section 321 of this Act.
    Cf. 1945, No. 23, s. 2 (2)

    In para. (c) the words in square brackets were inserted by s. 15

    (1) of the Judicature Amendment Act 1977. See s. 15 (2) of that Act.

    I have no idea why this was removed from the legislation 1 July 2013, bysection 6 of the Crimes Amendment Act (No 4) 2011 (2011 No 85). But it appears that a huge hole was left in the legislation

    If Wylie found Banks guilty Banks is convicted of the offence .
    Guilty is synonymous with Convicted
    The scenario used to be convicted – sentenced.
    Now it appears to be found guilty – convicted – sentenced .. yet there appears to be no legal precedent or legal foundation for this .

    The interpretation act gives no definition for convicted or guilty
    Since our legislation does not define Convicted anymore we have to rely on the interpretation of the legislation and the common dictionary meaning

    By way of argument that supports that conviction and Guilty mean the same you don’t have to look far.

    Section 147 Dismissal of charge Criminal Procedure Act 2011 makes the statement “ (c) in relation to a charge to be tried, or being tried, by a jury, the Judge is satisfied that, as a matter of law, a properly directed jury could not reasonably convict the defendant.”

    So how can a jury convict but a judge can’t ?

    Also when you appeal the guilty verdict you appeal your conviction . you don’t wait till sentencing you appeal it before sentence .
    No one appeals a guilty verdict they always appeal conviction .

    Crimes act is full of examples which infer that convicted and guilty mean the same
    Crimes act offences e.g 143 Included offences
    If the commission of the offence alleged (as described in the enactment creating the offence or in the charge) includes the commission of any other offence, the defendant may be convictedof that other offence if it is proved, even if the whole offence in the charge is not proved.

    And of particular significance is section 106 sentencing act

    Discharge without conviction

    (1) If a person who is charged with an offence is found guilty or pleads guilty, the court may discharge the offender without conviction, unless by any enactment applicable to the offence the court is required to impose a minimum sentence.
    The court has the power not to convict , to discharge without conviction . but at the time when the guilty verdict is given the common interpretation is that the person is convicted of the offence.

    So what act section case law legal precedent is any one relying on to say that Banks is not convicted?
    The judge did not specifically state that he would not enter a conviction at this time .

    Banks is there for convicted and should be removed from office .

    UPDATE! (Grace just discovered THIS in Justice Wylie’s verdict:

    [6] The information against Mr Banks was laid on 10 December 2012. Sections 105 and 106 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 apply to Judge-alone trials. However, those provisions only came into force on 1 July 2013. Pursuant to s 397 of the Act, this matter has been determined in accordance with the law as it was before that date.

    Meaning of “convicted on indictment”—For the purposes of this

    Act, a person shall be deemed to be convicted on indictment if—

    (a) He pleads guilty on indictment; or
    (b) He is found guilty on indictment; or
    (c) He is committed to the Supreme Court for sentence under section 44
    or section [153A or section] 168 of the Summary Proceedings Act
    1957; or
    (d) After having been committed to the Supreme Court for trial, he
    pleads guilty under section 321 of this Act.
    Cf. 1945, No. 23, s. 2 (2)

    In para. (c) the words in square brackets were inserted by s. 15

    (1) of the Judicature Amendment Act 1977. See s. 15 (2) of that Act.

    3 Meaning of convicted on indictment
    [Repealed]
    Section 3: repealed, on 1 July 2013, by section 6 of the Crimes Amendment Act (No 4) 2011 (2011 No 85).

    USEFUL INFORMATION FROM THE NZ CORRECTIONS WEBSITE:

    http://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/over-representation-of-maori-in-the-criminal-justice-system/2.0-criminal-justice-system-bias-and-amplification/2-3.html

    2.2 Prosecutions and convictions

    Once an individual has been apprehended for an offence (alleged or suspected), Police must decide on whether to initiate a formal criminal prosecution. Such decisions are based on a number of considerations: the seriousness of the offence, the adequacy of evidence to be presented to the court, the number and type of associated offences for which the person may also have been arrested on that occasion, previous offending history, and so on. In some cases, evidence may be more than adequate for prosecution, but the remaining considerations militate against prosecution, and the offender is subjected to Police Diversion 1.

    When prosecution proceeds, the resulting criminal justice processes typically lead either to conviction 2 or acquittal.

    ….

    2 Some offenders are convicted but subsequently “discharged without conviction”.
    http://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/over-representation-of-maori-in-the-criminal-justice-system/2.0-criminal-justice-system-bias-and-amplifica

    2.3 Sentencing

    Similarly as for Police decisions to prosecute, a range of factors are taken into consideration, in this case by judges, when imposing sentence on convicted offenders.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10122473/John-Banks-found-guilty-will-stay-in-Parliament

    Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee said Banks had not been convicted and therefore could remain in Parliament. Banks will probably apply for a discharge without conviction at his sentencing on August 1.
    …………………..

    This morning – I rang the Office of the Speaker in order to find out the definition of ‘conviction’ that was being relied upon, to say that ‘Banks had not been convicted’ and who had given this advice?

    (Given that the clear definition of ‘conviction’ that I had discovered in legal dictionaries was that ‘conviction’ was a guilty verdict in a criminal proceedings – which is what had happened to John Banks yesterday).

    I was told that this advice had come from Crown Law.

    So – I rang Crown Law and spoke to Jan Fulstow, and asked the same question.

    She said that the job of Crown Law was to advise Government – not members of the public.
    I explained that I was not just a member of the public, but one the original three who had made a complaint to the Police, and that I had a lot to do with this case.

    She refused to discuss this matter with me.

    I told her that in my considered opinion, Crown Law was misleading Parliament and that I intended to make a fuss about it.

    Which is exactly what I am now doing ….

    Penny Bright

    • Anne 14.1

      Go for it Penny Bright. If anyone can succeed you can.

    • Mike the Savage One 14.2

      I fear NatACT members can never be found “guilty”, as they live in a different world altogether, at a layer above the clouds on planet earth, they are “saints” in their own views, no matter what any court may find, and what any human observer may think.

      The audacity is incredible, and even some in the media talk about “trivial” breach of the law, while a brown skinned person from Otara would be sent to prison for 2 years, for a similar kind of offence.

      That is “justice” NZ style, I’d say, and I know some who experienced it themselves, not being NZers, and simply not being so, or coming from the “wrong” background, they were always guiltier, much “guiltier” than a common New Zealander would be, especially one holding “high” office.

      This is a rotten system here, it stinks, and I wish that only some more would stand up and challenge it.

  15. Mike the Savage One 15

    If the “honourable” Mr Banks wants to keep a tiny remnant of respect and credit, then he should bloody well resign now.

    As for David Farrar, he must realise the potential damage it does, to keep Banks in Parliament and support Key and Nats. That is the only motivation for his comments, none else.

    He is worried that Banks will damage the potential win of Key and his party, by having Banks stay in Parliament and support the government.

    So it is like that, once you have a “difficult sailor” on board, throw him overboard a.s.a.p.. So much for “loyalty” from David Farrar, Banks must think.

  16. dimebag russell 16

    too true lprent. farrar and this national bunch seem to think that the judiciary is part of the publlic service responsible to the wishes of ministers. Just as well National will be out in september or key and co might try to start passing legislation suborning the judiciary. they will stop at nothing even when they are proven criminals.

  17. dimebag russell 17

    if he resigns now will the pensioners in Greys Ave get their flats back?

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    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    2 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    2 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    2 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    2 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    3 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    3 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    4 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    4 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    6 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    6 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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