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ACT’s dodgy backroom deals?

Written By: - Date published: 3:43 pm, March 5th, 2009 - 63 comments
Categories: act, law and "order" - Tags: , , ,

This is interesting. From the Greens’ Metiria Turei:

Last night on TVNZ7’s political show Backbenches, Rodney Hide commented that ACT had supported the Whanganui [Gang Insignia] Bill to “get Three Strikes through”.

In 2006 Mr Hide was positively sneering at Chester Borrows attempt to ban gang patches. Now it seems ACT has done a backroom deal with National, exchanging the party’s own principles to advance its legislative agenda,” said Mrs Turei.

The Three Strikes Bill has already had its first reading, so one can only assume that when Mr Hide says ‘get Three Strikes through’ he means National will support ACT in passing the Bill into law.

Of course, at this stage any speculation about a quid pro quo on the three strikes bill is just that, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen ACT, and Rodney Hide in particular, engaging in grubby backroom deals to advance their agenda.

You’ve also got to wonder what National must be thinking if it’s agreed to push through a law that breaches the Bill of Rights Act just so it can tell gang members in Whanganui what they can wear.

Hopefully the media will be asking some questions.

63 comments on “ACT’s dodgy backroom deals? ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Annette King was trying to push this in the house. I just don’t think her attempts worked very well.

    • Ianmac 1.1

      Today in the House, Michael Cullen donated a supplementary question to Rodney so that he could clarify. Rodney said thankyou very much then used his free question to ask an unrelated question to Min of Corrections.

      • gingercrush 1.1.1

        Yeah that was weird. When Cullen goes, its going to be a huge blow to Labour. And I don’t know if Labour understands how important Mallard is for them now and in the future. Perhaps, they should treat him better than they are currently. It should have worked. Kings questions to Collins, they just didn’t. Which is strange, because I consider King’s ability as a political to be stellar and her ability to deflect questions was extremely good. But so far, since in opposition her performance hasn’t been good.

  2. Quoth the Raven 2

    Hopefully the media will be asking some questions.

    You’re dreaming.

  3. George Darroch 3

    Hopefully the media will be asking some questions.

    Don’t hope, it’s bad for you.

    Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick

  4. Check out what Mulholland thinks of it:

    ACT Shits on Freedom of Expression with other supporters (lindsay, MikeE) sounding off against it.

    • Felix 4.1

      Yep, there’s trouble brewing alright.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        Between that and this I’m gonna run out of popcorn.

        • George Darroch

          Thank goodness for schadenfreude.Which it appears is the word of the moment. We’re not at war humour levels yet, but give it a matter of time.

          Labour had a terrible record on human rights last time around. You could tell it was bad, because most of the time they had National voting with them to take rights away from ordinary citizens. Now we have Phil “Hardline” Goff steering the ship, we can’t expect any real change or opposition to these laws.

  5. vidiot 5

    No different to the back room deal Winston Peters had with the last government. Do you expect politicians to have principles & honor these days ? Life is all about compromises, I guess this u-turn (flip flop) etc is one of them for Rodney & co.

    • Tane 5.1

      No different to the back room deal Winston Peters had with the last government.

      That’s what I find so hypocritical, after all Rodney’s moralising over the Peters fiasco last year he’s found to be engaging in the same kind of grubby politics himself.

      • EverlastingFire 5.1.1

        Labour supported this at one time, and now they don’t.

        I also found this comment pretty amusing “Ms Turei says ordinary citizens will suffer if the ban goes ahead.” I see losers walking around this gang patches, not ordinary citizens.

        Btw, it’s spelled “Wanganui”

        • Tane

          I spell it ‘Whanganui’. And by the way, “EverlastingFire”? wtf? Who calls themselves that?

        • Akldnut

          Btw, it’s spelled “Wanganui

          Only to those people who are and have refused to be culterally sensitive for the last 100 or so years.


          Just another righting the wrong

    • MikeE 5.2

      Just because the other side does it, doesn’t make it alright.

      ” * Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.
      o Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992).”

  6. Edna 6

    IrishBill: Dad, you are banned.

  7. check out the bit when this came out at BB last night. about three quarters of the way through chapter 2 of the episode http://tvnzondemand.co.nz/content/back_benches/ondemand_video_skin?tab=&sb=date-descending&e=back_benches_s2_ep2#ep_back_benches_s2_ep2

    He’s an angry man.

  8. Monty 8

    So when Labour do back room deals (and deny it) then that is fine – Rodney admits dealing and you find your daily Whing.

    Deals are a reality of politics. I am sure there will be many more – including dare I say it deals with Labour. Personally I hope the Nats never deal anything with Labour – just starve them of oxygen for the next 12 years – but reality is that in order to get legislation through deals will be done. In fact when deals aren’t done it is probably a sign the Government is tired and arrogant and then deserves to be tossed out by the people (just like Labour became so arrogant and tired and were well tossed out by the people) –

    That and Mike Williams buggered it all up for labour with his obsession with John Key

  9. monty, so Labour was doing dirty deals but doing dirty deals is ok now but not doing dirty deals is bad because it show’s your’e tired and arrogant, as did the dirty deal allegedly made at the end of laobur’s term with Winston?

    Sounds complicated.

    IrishBill: and they’re done dirt cheap. Sorry couldn’t help myself.

  10. Ianmac 10

    Actually isn’t wheeling and dealing how MMP works?
    And the flow on from a Ban the Patches could be very dangerous. Is it the patch that is harmful or the behaviour of the wearer? The first case before a judge could be interesting.

  11. sweeetdisorder 11

    Was Cullens and Labours ass spanked today!!!! When offered the opportunity by Cullen to explain the imagined ‘backroom deal’, once Anette King actually managed to ask the correct person, Rodney Hide shits on labour and asks a totally different question that goes on to prove how his bill is better and would have saved lives.

    Hon Dr Michael Cullen: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I inform the House that the Labour Party is prepared to make one of its supplementary questions available to Mr Hide, if he would care to ask a question.

    Hon Rodney Hide: First of all, may I beg the indulgence of the House to thank Michael Cullen for that—

    Mr SPEAKER: The member must ask his question.

    Hon Rodney Hide: Can the Minister confirm that if “three strikes and you’re out’ had been in place, 78 New Zealanders would be alive now rather than their having been killed, which is what happened under the previous Government’s law and order legislation?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Certainly, if those offenders had been incarcerated, then, clearly, those 78 New Zealanders would now be alive.

    • George Darroch 11.1

      Where’s her evidence? Cause there isn’t any that three strikes laws save more lives.

      Collins thinks it’s simple – more people in prison means less crime, cause they’re locked up – as if that was the only consideration, and murderous crime was not a dependent variable of a range of factors affecting criminal activity. Munter. Phil Goff is a munter too.

      This will cost us huge amounts which could be spent on crime prevention and rehabilitation that really does save lives.

      More people will die needlessly, and that is a tragedy.

      • dytap 11.1.1

        Locking the worst of the recidivists up is crime prevention.

      • Mike Collins 11.1.2

        “Where’s her evidence? Cause there isn’t any that three strikes laws save more lives.”

        So what are you saying here? That the scumbags will break out of prison after they’ve committed their third strike, to commit murders?

        Mate I don’t want to break out the crayons for you, but their are more than 77 families of people killed by people who wouldn’t have been, had three strikes law been on the books in the last few decades.

        Won’t save lives my arse.

        • George Darroch

          Those who have studied the effect of three strikes laws on violent crime have found no significant positive relationship.

          To quote just one study: “three-strikes in California had no discernible positive or negative effects in terms of crime”

          Is that so hard for you to understand?

          There are some positive papers (particularly from the late 90s), more which state no effect on violent crime and some negative (that various crimes escalated). Hardly a stellar record. When compared to non-3strikes states, US states that used these laws saw no comparative decrease in violent crime. Some did much worse.

          Here’s a tip, if you want to be informed about things, use Google Scholar. It’s free, and not particularly hard to use.

          While ACT’s law is somewhat different, Collins cannot claim with confidence that this law will result in less murders and violent crime. Yes, those in prison cannot commit these crimes while they are there, but to ignore all other factors as Collins does is just idiocy. I expect it from people on the internet to say this stupid shit, but not her… well, come to think of it, yes her.

          • Mike Collins

            I agree to an extent. Yes there are many factors which make up crime. As a society we can not afford to ignore these. However there are bad eggs out there. We would be safer if they are in prison.

            Just because we take an approach of getting tough on the recidivist threats in our society, it doesn’t follow that we ignore the causes of crime or the progression of crimes in their seriousness.

        • killinginthenameof

          By “more than 77 families” do you mean 78 families?

    • Felix 11.2


      Hide gets a free question and all he could think of was a question which had already been asked (and answered) only minutes earlier.

      What a waste. What a dick.

  12. sweeetdisorder 12


    I think that the opposite is true, Hide gets given a question by labour, and seeks to rub their nose in it. Pretty much flying his colours and showing what ship they are attached to.

    Poor move by labour and one I suspect they will not be in hurry to repeat

    • Felix 12.1

      Of course you think that. You’re a moron.

      • sweeetdisorder 12.1.1

        And you are a fuckwit.

        • Billy

          This is great. Like the old days. Felix, make a sex joke about his Mum.

          [lprent: I’m sure that inciting is offensive in my eyes]

          • Felix

            Ah I remember those days like it were just yesterday. But no, I’m not going near his Mum.

            Which as it happens is the usual response she elicits.

            [lprent: Bad bad boy…..]

  13. Ianmac 13

    sweetdisorder: If some kind person gave you a few dollars to buy a pie because you were broke, and you went off and drank it all, would you:
    a. Think how clever you were to fool the giver
    b. Think what a loser the giver was
    c. Think that you could get away with it again
    d. Think that you yourself was a dishonest cheating louse.

  14. sweeetdisorder 14


    I assume you are drawing a parable to the events in parliament today.

    Your fable would assume that you know the other person was broke.

    • IrishBill 14.1

      Rodney’s not broke. Just morally bankrupt.

      • Mike Collins 14.1.1

        Is that how you say “I disagree with him”?

        Rodney is one of the most principled people I know.

        • Quoth the Raven

          I thought this was about Act throwing its principles out the window. That is if you believe they had any principles to begin with.

          • Mike Collins

            Wow you guys still really haven’t come to grips with losing the election have you? You are in permanent attack mode but aren’t very good at it.

            Had ACT thrown its toys out of the cot here and stuck to principle, you would be jumping up and down at it as proof positive of a disunited government.

            Instead ACT decided it wanted to get some of its promises in place, and that to do so some horsetrading needed to occur. It’s not rocket science guys but you act as if it is an abomination.

          • Felix

            But that’s exactly the point, Mike.

            You can either sell out your principles for the sake of pragmatism or sell out the government for the sake of principle – but you can’t do both.

            So far it seems the pragmatic route is being taken, not the principled one.

  15. Ari 15

    Only if they never escape or are paroled, and even a life sentence only lasts 20 years.

  16. Quoth the Raven 16

    Mike – So you admit they haven’t stuck to their principles – so in other words Wodney is unprincipled.

    Act – The conservative party.

    • Mike Collins 16.1

      No Rodney is principled. If you want to read between the lines, read this – he is smart because he was able to achieve something important for ACT voters. That he had to swallow a rat to do so does not make him unprincipled.

      Think of it this way. Your options are:

      a) Do not horsetrade. You don’t get what you wanted but you don’t have to give something up also.

      b) Horsetrade and get a policy win, the benefits of which outweigh the drawbacks of what you had to give up.

      I think anyone in the business of achieving things for their constituency would look at option b as preferable. Indeed many people would view you as unprincipled for not seizing the opportunity when presented. You guys laugh at the Libertarianz for being principled because they won’t achieve anything. Now you are laughing at pragmatism – I think you’re just suffering from losing the election. You know your job is to criticise but you haven’t quite figured out how to do it yet – and there is no consistency to your outbursts.

      BTW – writing Wodney is about as pathetic as writing Klark.

    • Mike Collins 16.2

      Sorry QtR,

      Did respond but in moderation. Think I know why so will repost the substantive part of my comment and hope one of the moderators will fix up the rest when they see I haven’t been outlandish…

      No Rodney is principled. If you want to read between the lines, read this – he is smart because he was able to achieve something important for ACT voters. That he had to swallow a rat to do so does not make him unprincipled.

      Think of it this way. Your options are:

      a) Do not horsetrade. You don’t get what you wanted but you don’t have to give something up also.

      b) Horsetrade and get a policy win, the benefits of which outweigh the drawbacks of what you had to give up.

      I think anyone in the business of achieving things for their constituency would look at option b as preferable. Indeed many people would view you as unprincipled for not seizing the opportunity when presented. You guys laugh at the Libertarianz for being principled because they won’t achieve anything. Now you are laughing at pragmatism – I think you’re just suffering from losing the election. You know your job is to criticise but you haven’t quite figured out how to do it yet – and there is no consistency to your outbursts.

      • Felix 16.2.1

        No, we’re laughing because you’re behaving pragmatically but still talking principles.

        Pass the popcorn please.

        • Mike Collins

          Glad you’re enjoying the show. Tell you what – this government stuff is much better than opposition and using laughing as your weapon. At the end of the day it is still our laws getting passed – not yours. Laugh all you like, it’s all you can do 🙂

          • IrishBill

            And they had the temerity to call the left arrogant. This all bodes well for 2011.

          • Felix

            1. What we’re talking about here is National’s law being passed, not yours – one which you guys have been very vocal about opposing.

            2. What makes you think I want to pass laws, Mike? I’ll leave that to you authoritarians thanks.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Quite right. Oughtn’t you be saying repeal laws, Mike?

          • Mike Collins

            Yep fair call – repeal laws. Plenty of stupid ones there.

          • Pascal's bookie

            So Mike , seems the only ACT laws getting passed are the gimpy reactionary tory ones. Be honest. ACT’s reason for being is the economic neo liberal stuff.

            You hooked up with the SST ’cause they had a mailing list and a fan base of disgruntled one issue voters that you could buy with a number 5 list spot. Shock horror, the embarrassment ends up in parliament. And here you are defending all this pants.

            Yes there is a liberal argument for strong law enforcement. But not when there are lots of illiberal laws on the books. You”ve got to get rid of those first, otherwise you’re just an authoritarian. Now you’re banning clothing for fuck sake. How’s the drug decriminalisation looking?

            I remember election before last getting a leaflet from Franks, that I wish I hadn’t binned, banging on about how ACT would defend my freedom of religion which he though was being oppressed by civil unions. There was something about gun rights as well. A big issue in Newtown I assure you. Can’t believe he got so badly spanked. Campaign might’ve worked better in Alabama. Just sayin’.

            Of course , that was when ACT was trying to wheedle the hunting-shooting-fishing vote, and the Christians on the QT. They’ve been kicked to the curb now, and you’ve got all these lock’em up and starve ’em peeps. Classy.

            What are going to do in a few years, before anyone has got their third strike yet, and there is a shock horror crime from someone that the SST wants locked up forever?

            Can you assure us that the criteria for a strike won’t be loosened? After all, there will always be a victim the SST can point to and say “They would have been spared if we weren’t so soft”.

            Your SST mates aren’t going to go away mate, and you’ve got them thinking they’re winners. Thanks for that. “Classic Liberal”.

            That’s the deal you’ve made, and what have the Liberals in ACT got out of it?

          • Felix

            You could start with that bloody ridiculous one that you guys voted for the other day – the one which Heather Roy said was

            …nothing more than a ploy to give the appearance of action – a ploy that will yield no results or benefit to New Zealand society…


            …wrongly-focussed, token-ist and entirely predictable…


            …just more law – we don’t need more laws…

            And then ACT dropped their principles, bent over and voted in favour.

    • George Darroch 16.3

      – the reACTionary party

  17. ak 17

    Here’s a wee suggestion for the Standardistas – every time on these threads that a tory finally admits defeat by resorting to “we won, nyah nyah nyah”, post a wee red flag (a la trademe) after his comment. Maybe colour-coded for “achievement” – “limit met” perhaps, or the “reductio ad masturbatum” badge. (pity burt’s away, he’d be a gold member in no time)

  18. gingercrush 18

    IrishBill – Not really. Many of the left still believe that somehow National stole the election. And still believe that Labour with allies was meant to have a fourth term. Even now the left seem to blind and accuse the media of not performing its job and National undergoing some huge PR exercise. When really its a National Party that hasn’t done too much wrong. Until the left has a hard look at themselves and why they’re in opposition now. Its hard to see why John Key and National won’t get a second term or even a third term.

    The sad thing is. From 1999-2003 Labour did extraordinary while National did really badly. And yet the left itWhat its doself in many ways fell apart with the Alliance going and Labour for some reason refusing to work properly with the Greens. The left could have established themselves as the natural government. But Key has the opportunity and more importantly the ability to prevent that from happening. While, the left scorn the relationship between the Maori party and National. Its the type of relationship Helen Clark could never seem to do with her natural allies such as the Greens and the Alliance. Instead she spurned them and later the Maori party for fake relationships with United Future and New Zealand First.

  19. Ari 19

    IrishBill – Not really. Many of the left still believe that somehow National stole the election.

    Do they actually believe that, or were they venting? And if so, how are you going to prove it? Take a poll?

    I would have preferred Labour had a fourth term, but I don’t think anyone was robbed, and I don’t know anyone who does.

    Its the type of relationship Helen Clark could never seem to do with her natural allies such as the Greens and the Alliance. Instead she spurned them and later the Maori party for fake relationships with United Future and New Zealand First.

    Good luck making it last- National is increasingly looking like it believes that the centre ground is for getting into government, (and that it doesn’t matter once the coalition ink is dry) and seems to have no problem embarrassing the Maori Party by making them unnecessarily vote for its tax cuts that hurt the majority of Maori.

    I’ve been one of those consistently saying that Labour wasn’t “entitled” to the support of the Maori Party, (And likewise for the Greens) but I still can’t see how you’d argue that National’s relationship with the Maori Party is anything to be envious about. Getting someone onside with your coalition is easy- it’s keeping them there after the election and not losing votes for “your side” in the next one that’s the hard part, where Labour actually has a track record to some decree and National does not.

  20. mike 20

    “Backroom deal” the term is so synonymous with labour it’s not funny.

    I agree ginga – labour are in real trouble in the house when Cullen goes

  21. gingercrush 21

    Ari – Because Tax is an issue of confidence and supply. Both National and the Maori Party felt they needed to sign a confidence and supply agreement even though they could have had a different agreement. But because the Maori party signed such an agreement they had to support the legislation.

    mike – They still have Trevor Mallard. Who while a prick, certainly has great ability in the house. The only thing is Labour didn’t wish for him to return to the front bench. Indeed, one almost wonders why Mallard remains in the party.

    • Felix 21.1

      Because Tax is an issue of confidence and supply.

      I don’t think you know what c & s means.

  22. Ianmac 22

    For the sake of all of us I hope Nact+MP do a good job of governing.
    At the same time I hope that they stuff up in a very public way.
    Left brain. Right brain. No brain. Contradictory and confused am I. 🙂

  23. brick 23

    “Left brain. Right brain. No brain.”

    I know a dodgy doctor who can give you a real cheap lobotomy Ian.

  24. Akldnut 24

    Just hope the lobotomy’s not going to be funded by ACC cause if the doctor screws up and leaves you with some brains you won’t be able to put in a medical misadventure claim.

  25. randal 25

    act is supposed to be the party of the civil society
    well why dont they do something about the uncivil noise blight being perpetrated on new zealanders by petulant snotty ignorant boy wacers and their noisy uncivil cars or is that just too much for wodney and wodger to compwehend

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