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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    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    3 days ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    5 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    5 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    6 days ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    6 days ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister, how out of touch are you?
    What was going through Jonathan Coleman’s head in the Health Select Committee this morning when he claimed he was unaware that an estimated 533,000 people have missed out on a GP’s visit in the last 12 months due to cost, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Divided we fall
    I’m getting pretty sick of the politics of division in this country.  The latest example was yesterday’s comments from NZ First leader Winston Peters having a good go in the House at driving up fear and loathing towards people of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Electoral Amendment Bill to enhance democracy
    Democracy will be enhanced under Labour’s Private Member’s Bill which will have its First Reading today, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Police underfunded despite rise in crime
    As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now
    With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Call to protect Easter Sunday in Auckland
    Auckland’s Labour MPs are backing the community to protect Easter Sunday by retaining current trading restrictions in the city, says Labour MPs Aupito William Sio and Michael Wood.  “The Government’s weak and confusing decision to delegate the decision over Easter ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.3 billion shortfall in health
    The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.  “We used to have a health ...
    3 weeks ago