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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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  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    3 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    4 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    4 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    4 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    5 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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