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Nat Civil War: Crushed’s last day

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, April 4th, 2012 - 116 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins - Tags: , ,

Key says Defamation Act requires a plaintiff to sue within five working days (I can’t actually find the section of the Act that says that, but who am I to argue with such a legal mind?).

That makes today Crushed Collins’ last day to sue. What will she do? Drop it and look like a blustering fool unfit to be Justice Minister let alone PM or pursue it, open up all her secrets during discovery, lose, and pay costs?

Oh yes, Key suckerpunched her good.

Btw, it’s cute watching the Brat Pack try to talk up a rehabilitation of Smith on Farrarblog. Don’t stop believing guys!

116 comments on “Nat Civil War: Crushed’s last day”

  1. Key is not a defamation lawyer. You have two years to sue.

    • Ben 1.1

      So is he just mistaken, or do you think he was trying to give Collins an out that will sound plausible, even if incorrect?

      “Oh, I’m a busy minister and we couldn’t possibly get everything prepared in such a short timeframe, so have reluctantly decided to drop the matter”

      If they could get that narrative to stick in the minds of the public, it could be a way for the Nats to back down without losing too much face.

      • see my comment below. There is a process in the defamation act about seeking a retraction within 5 days as a way of heading of the need for formal proceedings.

      • McFlock 1.1.2

        That’s a plausible tactic.
        Shame for them it’s been exposed as bullshit by conservative commenters here :)

      • Key is so full of himself that he thinks everbody hangs on his every word,
        He is a narcistic pompous twit who’s interests remain at one,money and more money . He is a cold calculating rich prick .he’s a disaster to Aotearoa .He’s also a first class con-man ,and he certainly has conned a lot of NewZealanders,

    • North 1.2

      Neither is Collins…….he’s just making it very clear that she’d better not pursue it or she’s in for a thrashing, from him. Oh………this internecine bloodletting is thrilling stuff. Who would have thought it’d take only 5 months into the second term. ?

      They’re toast !

  2. tsmithfield 2

    “Key says Defamation Act requires a plaintiff to sue within five working days (I can’t actually find the section of the Act that says that, but who am I to argue with such a legal mind?).”

    So you’re building this speculation on the opinion in the course of an interview of a non-lawyer, and when you can’t even find the relevant section in the act?

    However, there is a statement that Key made in that interview that should be especially relevant to bloggers:

    “When I’m not party to something, then I can’t speak and shouldn’t overly speculate on why others might do things.”

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.1

      Zetetic is just pointing out what a smuck Key is TS, Key often spouts things that are untrue in interviews as though they are fact but has things totally wrong.

      “When I’m not party to something, then I can’t speak and shouldn’t overly speculate on why others might do things.”

      Great really looking forward to him concentrating on only issues that he is Party to then! What ever.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        It looks like Zetetic might have smucked up this one.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Eh? Pretty sure it was Key who made the claim, not Zetetic.

          • Pete George 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, Zetetic always relies on Key’s word for anything he posts about him. Key made what claim?

            JOHN Cos the Defamation Act requires you within five working days to lay out your case.

            That’s a fairly vague statement to arrive at “requires a plaintiff to sue within five working days”.

            Collins sent a letter request well within the five day requirement. Isn’t that the first stage of laying out her case? Makes sense to start with that, if there’s a suitable retraction nothing else is necessary.

            • felix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The claim you quoted and Z linked to of course. Keep up.

              You’re right though, if Collins’ letter did indeed “lay out” her “case” then Key is right, Zet is a fool to make fun of him, you’re justified in hassling him about it, and I’m a dick for making fun of you.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I think that the point was that Key was being a dickhead (as usual)

    • tracey 2.2

      He doesn’t speak even when he IS a party to something (teapot tapes).

  3. The section Key was mis-describing is section 25 of the Defamation Act:

    25 Retraction or reply
    (1) Any person who claims to have been defamed by any matter published in a news medium may, not later than 5 working days after that person becomes aware of the publication of that matter in that news medium, request the person who was responsible for the publication of that matter to publish, in the same medium as the publication complained of, with substantially similar prominence, and without undue delay,—
    (a) a retraction of the matter in so far as it includes or consists of statements of fact; or
    (b) a reasonable reply.
    (2) Where, in response to a request made under subsection (1), a person agrees to publish a retraction or a reply, that person shall also offer to pay to the person who made the request (in this subsection referred to as the requester),—
    (a) where it is agreed to publish a reply, the cost of publishing that reply; and
    (b) the solicitor and client costs incurred by the requester in connection with the publication of the retraction or reply; and
    (c) all other expenses reasonably incurred by the requester in connection with the publication complained of; and
    (d) compensation for any pecuniary loss suffered by the requester as a direct result of the publication complained of.
    (3) In this section, reply means a statement of explanation or rebuttal, or of both explanation and rebuttal.

    • “open up all her secrets during discovery”

      Graeme – Zetetic/Shearer et al are claiming this – how much information has to be opened up? By just the person claiming defamation, or by both sides?

      • Both sides must disclose the relevant (and that’s quite loose) documents they have that might bear on the case (unless those documents are protected by privilege). Emails, letters, file notes, recordings, whatever.

        • Pete George 3.1.1.1

          So that could be as much risk to Labour too, presumably calculated risk.

          It can’t be a blanket “show us everything you have”. Is it voluntary exposure or does the other side have to make specific requests and therefore know of existence of what they ask for?

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes Pete, Labour is running a big risk here in that it may be shown that they tried to find out how a bunch of leaks and breaches of privacy happened. Scandalous.

            • Pete George 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Communications between Mallard, Little and Shearer on the possible orchestration of all this, and if they knew what they were saying was unsubstantiated and contrary to publicly stated denials, then it may be as interesting to others as Shearer thinks shining a light into Collins office will be.

              • Pete no doubt emails from an unidentified leaker called “slaterwatcher” or something like that may be disclosed unless there is good reason not to do so.  This is not the information Collins or National want.  They want to know where the leak is coming from.
                 
                Collins said last night on Checkpoint that Labour should put up it’s evidence or apologise.  She said this twice.  This is a startling thing for her to say because her position has been that her office has not leaked.  So how she could think there is evidence to “put up” is beyond me.
                 
                She is clearly in a difficult position.  If the leak came from her office then she has misled Parliament …

                • She may well be having a “cold light of day” moment where her feelings of offence have been tempered by legal realities. (But that could also apply to he opponents)

                  I don’t think her repeated “put up or apologise” is remarkable. If she knows they can’t possibly put up anything credible because she knows more than she has revealed then effectively she’s telling them “apologise or see you in court”.

                  • I think I will save a significant amount of the remaining years I have on this planet for something better and stop responding to Petey’s drivel.

                  • lprent

                    You are showing your ignorance again. It simply doesn’t matter if it was ‘credible’. What matters is if they have a legitimate defence which in this case they clearly do under the current law on defamation.

                    Personally I think it was likely that Collin’s office has had something to do with the leaking in question. Judith Collins statements to the contrary have been carefully crafted to leave considerable wiggle room especially as to the means of the leak. Why should I believe them? All she has said is how the leak was not done. I don’t think that she could have been quite as categorical unless she already knew how the leak actually took place and that is what she is covering up.

                    But in any case she is the minister of ACC, and is therefore ultimately responsible for the breach of privacy because it doesn’t seem likely that it was leaked anywhere outside of her office or the ACC. In other words I still have exactly the same opinion as Mallard and Little, and consider it to be a matter of public interest that Collins is trying to stifle debate on.

                    The court is likely to throw the case out as being completely bogus in the guidelines of L vs A at the first available opportunity if it is ever filed. She will delay the filing as late as politically possible and hope this all disappears in the mists of time. What is the bet that we won’t see her filing this side of xmas?

                    You realise that trying to inform you of the legal principles of defamation in NZ is like trying to hammer a nail into wrought iron? You appear to have had your opinions formed at some stage in the past, and you are insufficiently plastic to accept any ideas that contradict your preconceptions.

                    • I don’t know much about the intricacies of defamation law. Neither do I have preconceptions about this, you seem to think you know all about it already, isn’t that what you mean by preconception? You have a much stronger connection to one side of this, I don’t have any connection to either (and I’ve never been a fan of Collins).

                      Until more is known I don’t think Collins is in a strong legal position regarding the defamation – but I suspect this case has significant differences to L vs A.

                      And until more is known I don’t think Mallard and Little have a strong political case. They’re trying to be clever, and I think their intentions are more destructive than “holding to account”. The electorate generally isn’t keen on that.

                      Maybe you don’t mind if Shearer loses the plot over this. I think it would be a shame for him to be dragged down before he’s had a chance to assert his leadership.

                    • Personally I think it was likely that Collin’s office has had something to do with the leaking in question. Judith Collins statements to the contrary have been carefully crafted to leave considerable wiggle room especially as to the means of the leak.

                      Peters asked Collins a question in question time along the lines of: “If it is found that the minister or any of her staffed leaked the e-mail would she resign?”

                      Collin’s response was an emphatic “Of course I will…”

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/nat-civil-war-crusheds-last-day/comment-page-1/#comment-455088

                      Why would Mallard wait for court? He’s got her straight away – if he really can “put up”.

                    • felix

                      “Neither do I have preconceptions about this, you seem to think you know all about it already, isn’t that what you mean by preconception? “

                      Actually it’s more that Lynn understands this aspect of law and you don’t.

                    • Ah yes, expert at programming, moderating, and defamation law. Still closely associated with one side of this issue though. With fairly strong preconceptions.

                    • felix

                      Relative to you, evidenced by your comments on the subject, yes.

                    • lprent

                      PG: Just a good education directly and indirectly, a good memory, and a need to know.

                      Direct: Defamation is always part of business law courses. I took a pile of management courses including business law in the last year of my earth science degree when I’d decided that I wasn’t going into science. I did more business law in the MBA in Dunedin (and nearly got the boot for being lousy at it – concentrated my attention a lot).

                      Indirect: I also to suffer through my ex’s law degree during and after that MBA. There have also been a few business lectures on the topic over the years. And of course I took advice when I got heavily involved on this site and studied up pretty hard. That is because I needed to – for obvious reasons. Political bloggers should know their local laws backwards where it relates to what they are doing.

                      Programming and moderation are just things that I do and have done for decades. Started seriously studying and doing programming at uni in 1978 and have never stopped ever since (it is the best feature about computers – the field keeps expanding really fast). Moderating started by watching others doing it from the early 80’s on Bix, BBS’es, usenet, and eventually blogs. On the way through I’ve done it a few times but only seriously on this site.

                      You forgot climate change :twisted:

                      Personally I find it hard to understand how you can forget stuff once learnt. But I see you doing it every day when you keep making the same daft mistakes over and over again without apparently thinking them through.

                      I have come to the conclusion it is just something about how you just let information drip away. And I’m sure you don’t know how to study a topic – you’re more interested in bullshitting than understanding.

                    • So you’re an expert in defamation law now Lynn, as well as everything else? It seems to me that having repeated the same lines as Mallard and Little, you could now be a party to the defamation action. I’d better get some dosh on that iPredict stock about The Standard being sued…

                    • lprent []

                      So are you saying that as a political blog owner that you haven’t looked at the questions about defamation law extremely closely?

                      What about the questions about what is required to legally take down a website? I read the contracts with the hosting companies quite closely, and look at the local laws in the state of hosting. I’ve been caught by surprise once (with bluehost), and now I check on issues around growth as well.

                      What about the privacy issues? Are you one of the sites that don’t state how you handle privacy?

                      Now that seems weird to me. Not to mention outright sloppy and irresponsible. Do you run your business like that as well? Poor employees.

                      As far as I am concerned if something is worth doing then you do it right. I’m not an expert on defamation law in the same way as I am on writing code. But I’m pretty well informed on it as I am on anything that I do myself. Only a lazy idiot would go into something without getting informed on the boundaries.

                      I suspect that you’re simply being your usual pompous dickhead self.

                  • North

                    Poor Old Pete…….you’re sounding more and more and more embarrassed……..it was by your own gob remember !

            • felix 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Yep, it’ll look very bad for Labour if they’re discovered to have been working for the opposition all along.

              • It won’t look so flash if disclosure shows they may have defamed her.

                I presume they are aware of those risks and they think they’re worth the possible political gains they could get as a result.

                It’s riskier for Collins than for Mallard (been there done that) and Little (taking a punt), I’m surprised she’s put herself out on a limb like this. Time will tell if it was a carefully considered atack defence, or if she jumped too quickly to the bait.

                I think it’s also high risk for Shearer. He seems to be tagging along with Mallard so I presume he hasn’t been set up from within, but if this turns out badly for Labour his leadership may bear the brunt of the fallout. He must have thought all this through.

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Christ, you’re right Pete. And what if it goes deeper than that. They were probably discussing it all as a mere part in their grander plan to recall the old ones from their slumber.

        • Frida 3.1.1.2

          Relevance is not as loose as it used to be Graeme. New high court rule has tightened it up and you can get stung for costs if you take too loose an interpretation of relevance

  4. tsmithfield 4

    Thanks Graeme.

    So, given that Key is not a lawyer, it was probably an understandable mistake to make, especially in the context of an interview? IMO we should be a bit lenient on people in this type of setting, otherwise they won’t give interviews at all if people are going to come down on them hard for technical errors.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      Like key will stop giving interviews, he will tell you all the Bullshit you can swallow ts.Any more lines you want to run ts and Pete.

      • freedom 4.1.1

        Key gives interviews????
        i always thought he had a ventriloquist act with bobble headed breakfast crews

        • bbfloyd 4.1.1.1

          actually, key doesn’t give interviews…. the “press conferences” he pretends to have with the press gallery involve key asking his own questions, and answering them so that the “journalists” can then faithfully repeat his script for public consumption……this is a tactic i have seen him use more and more lately… and he will keep doing it until he gets called on it in a meaningful way, which means he will keep doing it ad infinitum….

          i don’t believe i have ever seen him seriously questioned on anything that could give him any qualms………

    • North 4.2

      Increasingly government ministers don’t give interviews……… so often lately, listening to Morning Report while I shave……..”blah blah blah……..” about some issue in respect of which you might well expect a minister to say something.

      “The Minister of Whatever was not available / declined to comment.”

  5. lprent 5

    IPredict opened a book on it* based on Key’s bullshit**. Needless to say the price is current falling like a rock.

    I guess it is a way for the bookies to make money.

    * I still reckon that we should get the police on to these meaningless threats – operation “9”?

    ** I still reckon that we should get the police on to this loose talk – operation “10”? ***

    *** Coming to think of it the police are loose lipped as well….

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Dont get me going on the disaster for police that the Urewera trial turned out to be , along with the botched Naitoko killing. Is there any competence anywhere, or is ‘wont happen again ‘ all they can offer

    • deuto 5.2

      As you say, a way for bookies to make money.

      This book (Collins to file defamation before Friday 5 April) is now down to 51.7% and has fallen 35.4% today.

      Yesterday they also opened books on National, Labour, Green and NZF possibles for becoming MPs before the next election – “possible” meaning being eligible to be an MP).

      No trading to date on Beaumont(L – at 26.9%) and Mulford (NZF – at 10.6%) and next to none on Shaw (G – at 19.8%), but Gilmore (N) is currently trading at 88%.

      • alwyn 5.2.1

        Wow. The people who invest (gamble?) on iPredict really do believe that Lockwood Smith is going to London as High Commissioner. Since Lockwood is a list MP he would be replaced, if Gilmore accepts the MP job, by Gilmore.
        If you are trying to connect this in some manner to a supposition that Collins, or Nick Smith for that matter, might step down it is irrelevant as they are electorate MPs and would be replaced in a by-election.
        Even if National were to lose such a by-election they wouldn’t get a new list MP.
        In the same way if Collins was to win a defamation case and, say, Mallard and Little were forced by their party to stand down Mallard would be replaced in a by-election and Little would be replaced by the next one on the Labour list. The chances of them standing down are of course negligible. Trevor at least is quite shameless.

    • Lanthanide 5.3

      “I guess it is a way for the bookies to make money.”

      Actually iPredict run their site at a loss. Not sure how big a loss since they put in an up to $5/month fee, but likely still a loss.

      The reason is because the site isn’t a 0-sum game as many assume. When they launch a stock with the market maker set at say 50 cents, if 1 person buys 100 stocks at that price, and no one else buys any at all, when the stock closes at $1 iPredict must pay that person out $50. Now say that person bought those stocks and it closed at $0, then iPredict will have made $50. But in general prices of stocks tend towards their eventual closure price, so more often than not iPredict would be losing money and not making it.

      • tracey 5.3.1

        Which, if correct, proves iPredict is a political vehicle because no other gambling site/business makes a loss

        • felix 5.3.1.1

          Pretty much my thoughts too tracey.

          Just like the polls can, iPredict can be used to measure opinion and it can also be used to lead opinion, depending what questions are floated and how.

          • Matthew Hooton 5.3.1.1.1

            iPredict makes small losses on each contract traded for the reasons Lanthanide accurately explains. Revenue comes from sponsorship of various questions and more detailed analysis of what the stocks (mainly the economic ones) are collectively saying about future economic trends. Needless to say, iPredict has proved far more accurate over the last four or so years than the New Zealand Treasury in its economic forecasts. The ACC scandal stocks are being launched not for any revenue they will generate (they will all lose iPredict small amounts of money) but for the publicity for the site they are attracting.

            Forgot to mention, there is also a little bit of revenue from brokerage and fees.

            • felix 5.3.1.1.1.1

              What do you think about the usefulness of iPredict as an opinion leader, in the same sense that certain types of polling are?

              • Matthew Hooton

                Felix

                Everything that happens has as impact on something else, of course, but I don’t think iPredict is much of an opinion leader. It has a trader community of 6000 of whom a few hundred are trading at any given time, and the results (which are changing all the time) don’t get put on the front page of the newspapers or lead TV news (despite our PR efforts!).

                I do think that if the MSM had focussed on iPredict more during the election campaign, Phil Goff might now be Prime Minister. Throughout the campaign, iPredict’s party vote stocks were suggesting a very close result. If the MSM had been reporting “iPredict shows election too close to call” rather than “Polls show Key heading for a landslide” then it is possible 10,000 of the 100,000 Labour-leaners who stayed home might have decided to vote, and a Labour/Green/NZ First/Mana/Maori Party government would have had the numbers. Similarly, now, iPredict is showing a change of government is likely in 2014, whereas the TVNZ poll (which I think is an opinion leader) says Key to govern alone. I would back iPredict’s accuracy over a TVNZ poll anytime.

                The main accusation against iPredict, in terms of your question, is that we can ask a question and this might lead the 6000 traders (who I think are a mixture of bank economists, parlimaentary staffers, Wellington public servants, journalists etc) to start thinking about that question and it might influence them. The main accusation of this was when we launched a stock during the election campaign asking if Labour would be investigated by the authorities over a controversial brochure (it had a baby on it from memory). The accusation was that we were suggesting the authorities should or would investigate Labour and I accept launching this stock was a margin call. But the stock was launched only because the brochure was already being talked about in that way, and the price quickly went to below 10c indicating there was very little chance of an investigation. You could argue that iPredict was leading media coverage here (in a sense of telling the media there would be no further newsworthy developments) but it wasn’t the fact of asking the question but the decisive answer that was influential – and, as I say, I would always back iPredict to provide accurate answers to what is really going on, or likely to happen. So it acts, in my view, more like sunlight as the best disinfectant.

                This then leads to the next question: can the price be manipulated as a way of leading opinion and/or MSM coverage. The answer is yes, but in the very short term. If, for example, I was to go into the market and spend a couple of hundred dollars buying “John Key to win next election”, the price would leap up well above David Shearer. But the experience is that this would last for a few hours at most most before the market would correct. During the election campaign, there were two efforts to manipulate the price of the two main parties: discussed at https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=blog&page=%3Fp%3D1008 and https://www.ipredict.co.nz/blog/?p=1041 We are very confident that all such attempts will fail (beyond the very short term) for the reasons outlined in the blog posts and also in this journal article: http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/Markets/hanson.pdf The academic theory also matches intuition – if I go in and buy “Key to win election” up to a higher level than the market was previously indicating (without any rational reason to do so), then that creates greater profit opportunities for those who are trading rationally to short it, and the price will go back down very quickly. Note, the people who will trade against my manipulation attempt don’t have to like or dislike Key – they can be staunch National supporters who just see that the price is too high.

                Sorry for the long answer, but you asked an important question and it deserved a serious answer.

                • This then leads to the next question: can the price be manipulated as a way of leading opinion and/or MSM coverage. The answer is yes, but in the very short term.

                  But timing can make a big difference. Several times during the election campaign I saw big moves on multiple party stocks suspiciously close to the weekly snapshot (one big one coincidentally about an hour before). And the snapshot then got media coverage.

                  There was obvious political action – pushing stocks to what proved to be false positions. And there was also what appeared to be selective intervention that went to the extent of suspending accounts.

                  In the last few weeks of an election campaign short term distortions can make a significant difference.

                • felix

                  Thanks Matthew, appreciate it.

      • lprent 5.3.2

        L: I’m being kind of being facetious about the whole thing.

        I was aware that it was zero or negative sum game. It is a variation of the Delphi method that I first ran across in John Brunner‘s book The Shockwave Rider in the 70’s.

        But the whole thing is a multiedged sword like all of these types of information systems.

        It gives expectation information as Hooten describes below. However it also allows a possibility of manipulating expectations by fiddling the system and feeding back expectations as Brunner described.

        It allows behavioural information to be collected on the participants in much the same way that systems like the Flybuys or OneCard that checkout operators keep asking for in my supermarket. Again one side of that is good in terms of better service in aggregate. The other potential uses when matched with outer information can be quite bad.

        And it encourages a socially unacceptable behaviour amongst those who can’t control their gambling habits.

        So I don’t participate except for being facetious. I can’t see the overall value of iPredict against the potential abuses. And I can’t see the required check systems about where and how the non-public information is used – so I assume that it is being abused as a default position.

        I’m a programmer and acutely aware of the value and potential abuses of information. I don’t gamble on games. I also don’t have such things as Flybuys or OneCards. Don’t allow my picture to be on the net. Limit what I put on facebook to what I do here where I have to be public. I automatically minimize the ways that my behaviour can be tracked

        • Pete George 5.3.2.1

          I automatically minimize the ways that my behaviour can be tracked

          ??
          You display a fair bit of trackable behaviour here.

          • Rob 5.3.2.1.1

            Yeah Lynne

            You are really off grid .

          • lprent 5.3.2.1.2

            A welter of material to look within, and very limited information that I chose to make visible – you’d be foolish to rely on something like that.. It is the Purloined Letter technique that is much beloved by magicians, politicians, actors, the long con, pyramid schemes, and these days for programmers on the net. (except I’m not selling anything)

            Basically I decided in 2007 that this was worth doing. That meant my name was visible because someone had to be on the domain.

            It didn’t mean that ‘I’ had to be visible – just opinions and a personality. In fact I use several here depending on the role I am doing at the time. They all have lprent as a label, but they are just facets..

            Read your Poe

            • Pete George 5.3.2.1.2.1

              …just opinions and a personality. In fact I use several here depending on the role I am doing at the time.
              Do you think that’s significantly different to the rest of us?

              I see varying personas in many commenters.

              • lprent

                The number of regular commentators using more than one pseudonym here are minimal.

                We check each new pseudonym as they come on. That is because we have to check for people who are banned.

                We won’t get them all, but we do get a significant number – mostly from people who have been previously permanently banned. If they have been out for long enough and their comment is up to standard, then they will frequently get let back in.

                There are a couple of people who I suspect are using the same pseudonym from the style and times. But there is nothing in the rules about partners choosing to do that.

                There are quite a few who simply don’t type the same details in each time or who keep changing their name. You can see us getting irritated about them

                Most people use a single pseudonym. Which is good because it is a pain to check and release new pseudonyms.

                But there aren’t many sock puppets in use – most that are here are from the right and I really don’t care that much unless they start talking to each other in an astroturf.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Peters asked Collins a question in question time along the lines of: “If it is found that the minister or any of her staffed leaked the e-mail would she resign?”

    Collin’s response was an emphatic “Of course I will…”

    So, now that Collins has confirmed she will resign if she or her staff are found to be the source of the leak, I expect that if Mallard et al. actually have anything of substance in this respect, they will immediately present it to take another government scalp. Why wouldn’t they? So, inaction in this respect would suggest to me there is more bluff than substance in the position they are taking.

  7. DavidW 7

    Collins upped the ante in QT today by saying that if the leak was proven to have come out of her office she would resign as Minister.

    No hedging, no bullshit, just “yes, of course I would resign because I have integrity” Looks like she is digging in for the long haul.

    • tracey 7.1

      Does her “office” include the ACC CEO and other staff at ACC?

      Does this show that she kows it isn’t her office because she kows who did leak it and has anyone actually asked her that question?

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        “Does her “office” include the ACC CEO and other staff at ACC?”

        Nope, and it doesn’t include beehive staffers attached to other minister’s offices either.

        And she isn’t answering any questions because it’s ‘not in the public interest to do so’.

        She declined to express confidence in the Chair of ACC though, for what it’s worth.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Good grief.

    Collins’ statement today changed nothing. Have you guys actually been following the story?

    If she is found to have leaked it, she will have been found to have lied to the house on several occasions, and to the PM twice.

    Answering that question in any other way would have been an admission that she doesn’t think lieing to the house, or the PM, is resignation worthy.

    • It’s another (more emphatic) statement from Collins.

      “I think they’ve really got a case there and I think we’ll be really interested to see what actually happens if it does go to court.” (Shearer)

      That’s a nonsense statement if they could have her resignation straight away – that’s if they have the goods to “put up”.

      Who’s bluffing? (Shearer’s more likely been sucked in).

      • felix 8.1.1

        And yet still no suit.

        • Pete George 8.1.1.1

          Yep. In this instant action world it’s already been a week.

          Maybe it takes time to get legal advice and prepare properly.
          Or maybe she’s thinking “Oh fudge!”

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.2

        Collins statements to date only make sense if she knows who breached the privacy act (unless she’s just telling fibs). So she’s either the offender, or she’s an accessory after the fact.

        You still don’t get it though, Pete George. If she backs down, people will interpret that (fairly or unfairly) as an admission of guilt. If she files a suit and loses (and it is difficult to see how she can win) that will be interpreted as “proof” that she is the offender (whether or not she really is).

        Lose/lose, in other words.

        Your attempt to smear Shearer is just another example of your gutter sense of ethics, though – I know you’re only fluffing the Hair and his new-found closest allies, but don’t you get tired of the taste of that ditch-water?

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.3

        Pete. .

        You need to actually think here.

        Mallard and co don’t have to have absolute proof. They don’t have to prove that she did it, they only have to show that what they said was reasonably believed to be true by them. They might have that evidence, but it might not prove that she leaked it.

        So you are wrong.
        Their evidence will not necessarily lead to a resignation based on what she said today.

        If Collins would allow them to release the lawyers letter, then we would all be in a better place with regard to discussing things. But she won’t, obviously because she is so very confident of course.

        And you are right that she is probably getting legal advice and what not. Fron what Little was saying yesterday, she wrote the lawyers letters herself. Which kind of indicates that she hasn’t been getting much advice at all on the matter.

        Why didn’t Collins support the call for an Auditor general investigation? She has accepted the other investigations and welcomed them only after the fact, but that’s not quite the same thing is it?

        And now the Felix Marwick reports that :

        “Request by MPs Andrew Little and Kevin Hague for an Auditor General inquiry into ACC has been approved”

    • ianmac 8.2

      Anyone else notice the somewhat shrill and to me hysterical outburst from Judith in the House during QT today?

      • deuto 8.2.1

        Yes, Ianmac. That was my reaction also; but others on here (pg at 10.1.1 and ts at 10.1.1.1 below) have remarked about her being ‘relaxed”.

        I have just gone back and re-watched her performance on In the House and IMO, my first impressions stand. While not as uptight as last week and while she answered the questions reasonably “normally”, her behaviour before and after doing so verged on the near hysterical eg the almost inappropriate laughter.

        Stress manifests itself in different forms at different stages, and to me, this was not inconsistent with the stage beyond anger etc and close to breakdown. Not an expert in this other than my own experiences and that of others I have been close to or worked with, but relaxed – no.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    While we’re digging through the entrails and devining the confidence and bluff levels, what do peeps make of the iPredict stocks?

    Still has a beehive staffer as most likely, slightly more likely than an ACC staffer.

    But ‘beehive staffer’ the insiders reckon, with their market based predicting machine of efficiency.

    What was Mallard and co’s theory again?

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Pascal, I think the reason that both the beehive staffer and ACC staffer categories are so high is because their definitions are very broad, giving a good chance of making a hit. For example, the definition for “beehive staffer” is:

    “”Beehive staffers” include all employees/contractors of Ministerial Services; secondees to Ministers’ Offices from departments, including ACC; Minister’s electorate staff (even if not based in the Beehive) and employees of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet working in the Beehive.”

    Incidently, I notice that “beehive staffer” has just taken a big drop and is now nearly the same as ACC staffer, so who knows.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      Yep, so far so obvious.

      Take a look at that Beehive staffer definition, and ask yourself ‘who has Collins said she forwarded the email to?’

      A: The Chair and CEO of ACC.

      Now let’s assume, purely for the sake of argument, that the PMs office also had access to it .

      It wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to do so. I think that given the controversy, having them in the loop would have been both wise and appropriate.

      Beyond that though, there’s no good reason I can think of for other ‘beehive staffers’ to have been in a position to leak it

      So while the category of beehive staffers is broad, the possibilities are not so broad.

      What was Mallard’s theory again?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Pascal, you are assuming that no-one else at ACC got access to the e-mail. However, the evidence I have seen in the media points to quite a lot of snooping, people accessing files they shouldn’t, and lax security. Therefore, why couldn’t it easily be an ACC staffer who leaked it?

        • Pete George 10.1.1.1

          Because that wouldn’t be Collins’ fault and would bum up the campaign against her.

          She seemed quite relaxed in Question Time today. Chauvel wasn’t so at ease trying to score against her.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I heard it too. Collins seemed to be enjoying herself.

            • ScottGN 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Actually in Duncan Garner’s piece for TV3 tonight she came across as rather brittle and somewhat manic in the House today. I don’t think she’s enjoying herself nearly so much as you would like us to believe. Also as Andrew Little pointed out on Checkpoint this afternoon her disparaging comments about Shearer today may well have undermined her position.

              • felix

                I agree Scott, I thought she was very close to completely losing the plot in the house.

                As my dear old Gran would’ve said, the lid was only just on.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But Pete’s empathic observation was that Collins “seemed quite relaxed”.

                  Surely he wouldn’t be trying to mislead us, would he?

                  • the sprout

                    he wouldn’t be trying to mislead us

                    no way, PG’s as sincere as he is informed and cogent

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          you are assuming that no-one else at ACC got access to the e-mail.

          No I’m not actually. I realise why you would like to talk about that perhaps, but, y’know, that’s no call to just make things up about me.

          I’m talking about how iPredict puts a pretty high chance on it being a beehive staffer, or as I originally said, it “has a beehive staffer as most likely, slightly more likely than an ACC staffer“.

          See that bit after the comma? (Hint: It’s the bolded bit, with “ACC Staffer” in it, and “slighty” as a qualifier on the “likely”)

          There’s me, not assuming the shit you said I was assuming.

          You can take it back any time you like, but sooner would be better.

          I don’t expect any better from Pete, he’s proved his quality quite sufficiently over the last week or so.

          Now, as I was saying, iPredict puts the highest probabilty, slightly more than they do for an ACC staffer, on it being a beehive staffer.

          That would seem to be limited to Collins office, or possibly the PMs office, or maybe someone else, I mean who knows who got the document after Collins got it, or what conduits it went through.

          And what was Mallard’s theory again?

          And what has iPredict consistently reckoned is the most probable things again, albiet by a slight, margin?

  11. tsmithfield 11

    “No I’m not actually.”

    Fair enough. Point taken.

    “Now, as I was saying, iPredict puts the highest probabilty, slightly more than they do for an ACC staffer, on it being a beehive staffer.”

    True. But only margin of error stuff now. It could easily turn the other way. The “beehive staffer” option seems to be on a slight down-trend at the moment, whereas the ACC staffer option looks to be pretty well flat.

    Your assumption about the PMs office seems fair enough. But probably the alternative of the leak coming from ACC seems just as plausible for the reasons I advanced above. And the closeness of the Ipredict predictions seem to bear this out.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Cheers ts.

      It is a close run thing on iPredict. There’s a lack of confidence in Collins’ confidence, shall we say.

      Her behaviour in the house is a bit like one of those ink-blot tests I sthink. I thought she looked a bit manic, a bit too eager; but I understand how others could see confidence in it.

      But there is that seeming reluctance to pull the trigger on her part. It showed again today with her refual to press a claim against Shearer after she said he too had defamed her. And yes she laughed it off with ajoke at his expense, but still, but still.

      Another trigger not pulled.

      And all the while Mallard and Little are quite openly mocking her reluctance, with Little yesterday pulling out the ‘fool for a client’ line, and Mallard today talking about her ‘fixed smile’ and ‘weird’ behaviour.

      She’s talking tough and laughing, but they are the ones raising the stakes.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Yeah. I have to admit being quite ambivalent on this one.

    However, the key thing for me with Collins today was when she very emphatically said she would resign if either her or any of her staff were found to be the source of the leak. So, I think that one can definitely be ruled out as all that Mallard has to do now to force her resignation is to produce the evidence, which he hasn’t.

    Also, I understand that the PM asked Collins twice whether she was the source of the leak. I doubt he would do that if he knew who the leaker was.

    That is why I tend to favour someone in ACC. But who knows.

    Whether Collins pursues the defamation case will probably depend on the advice she receives about likely success, which, as others have pointed out, could well be a long shot. So, just because she doesn’t go ahead doesn’t necessarily mean admission of guilt.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      But the thing about her resignation comments today, is that there was no other answer available.

      If she had said she wouldn’t resign, she would have been saying that lying to parliament, and to the PM, are not resignation events for Ministers. Which they clearly are.

      As to the PMs questioning of her, the leak had to have come from somewhere, and Collins was right there; it was sent to her.

      The ACC story was swirling, he couldn’t just ignore it. He needed an answer for the House, right?

      If you look at all his comments since then, they have been that he believes her when she told him it wasn’t her , that she has been a good Minister up until now, has no reason to doubt her, etc. It’s familiar language, not damning at all, but not unconditional either.

      She can’t afford to give him any reason to doubt her words to him. He may well have been getting her on the record in asking her those questions, and indemnifying himself. It’s not his fault if a Minister lies to him, is it?

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        But that still doesn’t explain why Mallard hasn’t immediately dropped the mother load. And why wouldn’t he if he had something really incriminating? So, I don’t rule out the possibility of the leak coming from Collins. However, I seriously doubt that there will be any traceability back to Collins sufficient to force her resignation.

        • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1

          Like you say below, he might have enough evidence to justify whatever thing he said that Collins claims was defamatory, but not enough to clinch her resignation.

          Given that Collins has offered to go to court about it, why not try and get at the truth of it?

          If he’s:
          1) sure he’s covered in terms of reasonable opinion, but
          2)can’t prove she leaked it, and
          3) strongly suspects she did leak it,
          then
          4)he’ll be convinced she’s bluffing right?

          And if he is sure he’s covered in terms of not having defamed her, then he has nothing to lose in calling that bluff.

        • ScottGN 12.1.1.2

          It seems to me that the most likely explanation for Mallard not dropping the “motherload” (if he’s got it) is simply that he doesn’t need to. At the moment this thing is rolling along perfectly from Labour’s point of view. All the pressure is on Collins and apart from some soothing words from the PM she doesn’t seem to have much support from any quarter. Every day this goes on her position becomes a bit more ludicrous and less tenable.

          • Pete George 12.1.1.2.1

            Scott – I guess it depends on whether Mallard is “holding Government to account” as he and Little claim they are doing, or if he’s trying to score as many political points as possible.

            If an opposition MP has information (real information, not empty accusations) that a Minister has acted improperly then it is surely their responsibility to deal with it as soon as possible? If they have any integrity.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.1.2.1.1

              That depends. It seems possible that the source is a National Party insider, in which case it will be far better for the country if Mallard keeps their identity (or identities) to himself, the better to undermine and derail the ongoing betrayal of New Zealand.

              • That doesn’t make sense. Far better for the country to keep an ongoing betrayal of the country ongoing?

                Sounds like a ridiculous excuse for not fronting up.

                And – a democratically formed government is not a betrayal. Hissy fit election losers who think any dishonest means of getting power are justified are the betrayers of democracy.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Pete, it’s simple enough.

                  Mallard only needs to have enough evidence to make his claims a reasonable belief. That’s probably all he has at the moment.

                  Releasing that info would put a stop to finding out the truth of what was going on. Not releasing the info means there is a greater chance of getting to the truth.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Lol:

                    This suggests all Mallard is worried about is “having enough evidence” to avoid defamation (should it come to that).

                    Any dishonest tactic justifies bringing a minister or government down?

                    This is politics at it’s worst. And unless he’s certain of success Mallard even seems willing to use Shearer, who will suffer more than him if it backfires.

                    That’s Pete at kb in response to the above comment.

                    1) It doesn’t ‘suggest’ that at all. in any way shape or form. It instead suggests that Mallard may well be interested in getting at the truth of what was going on. Read the comment Pete, it’s what it says.

                    2) According to pete, making statements that are not defamatory, becuase they are reasonably believed to be true, or asking questions based on things you have reason to believe are true, is ‘politics at its worst’.

                    Honestly, that’s what he said.

                    3) Unadulterated weapons grade idiocy.

                    4) That is all.

                    • felix

                      Gosh, it’s going to be a bit of a laugh if Our Pete ever does make it into parliament.

                      With the ground rules he’s laying out for himself now, he’ll be sitting in the corner facing the wall, bound and gagged, cotton wool in his ears, unable to see, hear, say, or do anything.

                      Mind you as a UF candidate that’s about the best he could’ve hoped for anyway.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I can see him in parliament now, saying the none of what he has ever said applies to him because he is not a politician…

                    • While you’re on honestly,can you honestly say if you think that Mallards prime objective is:
                      – “getting at the truth”?
                      – getting at the Minister (forcing a resignation)?
                      – getting at the power (bringing down the government)?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pete, I can honestly tell you that what I’m interested in is finding out what was going on in ACC, how all this stuff got leaked, why all this stuff was leaked, and by whom.

                      I’m glad those questions are being asked.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Pete, I’ll spell it out for you:
                  1. National Party polices constitute a betrayal of the country.
                  2. It is better to have a live spy in their camp, than a dead one.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      And yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the leak came from ACC. There is some motive there, re Boag et al.

      But I think it would have been a remarkably risky move. It would always drag the Minister into the firing line, and even if that was the plan, (for some unknown reason), the chances of the Minister going down would be much smaller than that of the leaker’s career being destroyed.

      And that’s ignoring the fact you’d be going after Boag as well. That’s some big balls.

      I’m also unconvinced about the idea that many people would have had access to the letter within ACC.

      The problems within ACC around data security are clearly real, and scandalous, but I’m not sure they extend to the email accounts of the CEO and Chair. And the Letter was leaked pretty quickly, within a week from memory right?

      So the leaker would have to be someone pretty high up the chain, prepared to risk that high up the chain career, to do, what? Substantiate the claim about ‘blackmail’? You wouldn’t need to leak it to do that. Just go to the cops.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I imagine whoever has done it will have their tracks fairly well covered. Mallard probably doesn’t need emphatic proof it was Collins. Even strongly suggestive evidence would be enough to end her career I suspect. So, I do wonder about the strength of what, if anything, Mallard actually has since he hasn’t dumped it.

    Mallard may have felt that due to L v A, he can get away with saying pretty much anything, so had nothing to lose by making public statements. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has just looked at the chain the letter has been through and taken a stab.

    • tsmithfield 13.1

      The other thing is that I notice that Mallard has been toning down his public statements quite a lot recently, saying things like “there are still unanswered questions” etc. And Labour seems to be welcoming the opportunity to see e-mails etc through the discovery process, suggesting they haven’t got their hands on anything like that.

  14. Matthew Hooton 14

    Moved answer to reply directly to Felix above.

  15. Crushed’s last day

    Doesn’t look like it was yesterday.

    Collins going ahead with defamation action

    Papers will be filed next week against Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little, as well as the state broadcaster.

    Collins has revealed this morning she’s hired Auckland QC Jonathan Miles to lead her defamation case against Mr Little, Trevor Mallard and Radio New Zealand.

    Ms Collins says she’s prepared to go through the process because people expect MPs to have standards.

    “I believe it’s a good case and that’s the advice I’ve got but it’s a very difficult process and it’s not something people should engage with lightly and I noted that’s been said to me,” she told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking.

    It will be a difficult case to win, but shining a light on both sides of the argument may be revealing.

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    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Smith investigation warrants executed
    Auckland City Police investigating prison absconder Phillip Smith's activities prior to his departure from New Zealand recently, are aware of allegations about a Department of Corrections staff member and today located and spoke with the person named in ...
    Scoop politics
  • Is Your Family Ok This Christmas?
    For many people Christmas is a time for gift giving and eating until you fall asleep on your Grandparent’s sofa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many families do not experience Christmas this way. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan
    Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan The AA has welcomed the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport 2015/16 - 2024/25. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Kia Ahau: Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 December 2014
    Despite the cracking pace set by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, National fell short of its 2014 deadline for completing historic Treaty settlements and quietly extended it to 2017. In Kia Korero Mai, Eruera Morgan talks to Waitangi ...
    Scoop politics
  • Reminder of the value of council recreation investment
    High holiday season demand for city parks, aquatic centres, cycleways and other recreation infrastructure highlights the vital importance of continued council investment in new facilities, says New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Andrew Leslie. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Judge Advises Circumventing Law on Fluoride
    Justice David Collins has taken it upon himself to advise the NZ Ministry of Health's legal team on how best to circumvent the Judicial Review before him, regarding fluoridation in New Zealand. It appears the Judge is well aware that… ...
    Scoop politics
  • Consultation on NZ report on the Rights of the Child
    Sacha O’Dea, General Manager, Ageing, Disability and International of the Ministry of Social Development, announced the opening of public consultation on the Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) ...
    Scoop politics
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