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Dunne has no mandate to vote for asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, March 11th, 2012 - 113 comments
Categories: privatisation, united future - Tags: ,

“What the public of New Zealand really do not like is politicians who say one thing before an election and do something else after it. And I invite every member of this House to look at every statement United Future made prior to the election and every statement subsequently and try to draw a difference” – Peter Dunne.

Before the election, Dunne never said he would vote for asset sales and said he would keep water rights in public hands. Now, he’s voting for asset sales.

United Future supporters will dance on a head of a pin (in fact, I think they could all fit on top of one with room to spare) and say that that Dunne never ruled out supporting National’s asset sales programme. And he didn’t. But he never said he would support them either. And he purposely gave the impression he was anti-asset sales by ruling out ever supporting the sale of certain assets or full sales. It was a strategy calculated to deceive voters into thinking he was against all asset sales. Dunne never sought, nor obtained, a mandate to vote for National’s asset sales.

113 comments on “Dunne has no mandate to vote for asset sales ”

  1. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 1

    Lord Dunne of Ohariu, The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and Lady Jennifer, today joined the Queen as a guest at Barmoral Castle. This unique expression of hospitality is testimony to the single minded determination of Lord Dunne (don’t call me Pete). Unnamed Palace sources said the level of supplication shown by Pete was “Awesome”. Lord Dunne said the invitation was the “hairiest moment of my life”. “I’ve party hopped and strutted and puffed and brown-nosed, forever it seems, and I’ve finally achieved an invitation to the classiest Tea Party of them all. One might say, that this, my fourth party, is my real home.

  2. Pete 2

    Give it up.

    The vote in Ohariu was strategic for.National and against Labour.

  3. Zetetic dances on his own pin.

    It was a strategy calculated to deceive voters into thinking he was against all asset sales.

    Funny, those who wanted to marginalise and ignore him then now claim they were deceived.

    Dunne never sought, nor obtained, a mandate to vote for National’s asset sales.

    a) where you aware of Nationals proposals for asset sales?
    b) where you aware that if elected Dunne would be a part of the National led Government?

    “Mandate” is an irrelevant argument. Or would you claim that Labour and Greens don’t have a mandate to oppose asset sales?

    • shreddakj 3.1

      What are you smoking? Labour and Greens campaigned against asset sales, it’s not even comparable to Dunne.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        Labour and Greens campaigned against asset sales

        And how much of a mandate did they get?

        Labour’s main campaign focus was asset sales, but not the Greens (their prime 3 part focus was 100 Green jobs, 100 kids out of poverty and water quality).

        • McFlock

          Maori Party
          all campaigned against asset sales.
          Together got more than 50% of the votes.
          Dunne’s rotten borough distorts parliament.
          There is no mandate for sales: full, partial, or even notional.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Even ACT’s replacement, the Conservative party, opposed the sales. As I read the final percentages, National +ACT+UF totals only 48.98%, tens of thousands of votes short of a mandate.

          • Pete George

            No parties campaigned against asset sales anywhere near the extent of Labour.

            And they didn’t get more than 50%:
            National 1,058,636
            Labour+Green+NZF+Maori 1,041,835 (46.56%)

            On your contention there would be no mandate to do anything, rendering every Government we have had powerless.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Now you’re starting to get it.

              The most capable leaders bring the people along with them, so that the people consider the leader’s achievements as their own. This is the opposite of powerless.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Pete, national campaigned on the basis of gifting these assets to their mates and their vote went down. ACT also campaigned on the same basis and ceased to exist as a party as a result. UF campaigned on moderating the excesses of National and while that has turned out to be a lie, they also saw their vote drop. Those 3 parties failed to get a mandate for the sales and the majority of Kiwi voters who bothered to vote, voted for a party opposed to the sales.
              Those facts are why this Government only has a wafer thin majority for pushing through this legalised theft. The wafer in question, Peter ‘I use my hair as weathervane’ Dunne has a big choice to make. Asset sales or electoral oblivion.

              • You’ve made many mistakes.

                national campaigned on the basis of gifting these assets to their mates
                No they didn’t, you are using opposition bullshit.

                and their vote went down.
                No, it went up from 1,053,398 to 1,058,636 or 44.93% to 47.31%

                ACT also campaigned on the same basis
                No they didn’t.

                and ceased to exist as a party as a result.
                That’s debatable, the party exists but isn’t in a great state.

                UF campaigned on moderating the excesses of National

                and while that has turned out to be a lie
                No it hasn’t, some has been written into the C&S agreement, more is happening ongoing, and much is yet to unfold.

                The rest is just waffle. You got one right.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yeah, you got me on the Nat figures, Pete. And they got one more seat in parliament overall. Should have checked the stats, but the point remains, they have no mandate for the sales. And in the previous Parliament they probably could claim they did, based on theirs and ACT’s numbers. However you spin it, they have no mandate now.
                  My other points remain totally correct though and while I can understand your continued denial of Dunne’s duplicity, I’m not sure why you think ACT didn’t campaign for the sales. They only had two policies; asset sales and whatever else John wants.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I’ve aske bdefore about what UFs moderating influence is, and I can’t recall a response, so i’ll ask again, seeing you think it is real.

                  What did National want to do, but can’t do because UF has moderated them. It seems to me that UFs policy on asset sales was that National’s policy was just right, like the little bears porridge. Thta’s not moderating national, that’s just agreeing with them.

            • McFlock

              True, I forgot Mana.
              And we’re not talking about “any” policy. We’re talking about the most widely flagged policy of the campaign. That parties explicitly (bar UF, seems to be some issue about that) either supported or opposed.
              National – with the indispensable help of Dunne – are pushing through policies that they know the majority of the country don’t want. Policies on an issue that goes to the core of who we are as a nation and how we want to go into the future.
              Fuck “mandate”. That’s a special kind of arsehole, in the area of treason.

              • Overstatement somewhat. We’ve sold more assets before and the core of the nation hasn’t disintegrated. I’m sure we will survive a handful of part sales.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  …especially when we simply return our property by legislative fiat.

                  • The sabotage to lose but prove a point at any cost trick.

                    I’ll be very surprised if Labour buy into that approach. Harawira has but that will put him offside with all but a few radicals who have no hope of being in government.

                • Colonial Viper

                  We’ve sold more assets before and the core of the nation hasn’t disintegrated.

                  Sure, if you ignore the 1 in 6 New Zealanders who have left for overseas, and especially to Australia for economic reasons.

                  And yeah, Dunne would be an economic traitor of the worst sort.

                • McFlock

                  Overstatement somewhat. We’ve sold more assets before and the core of the nation hasn’t disintegrated. I’m sure we will survive a handful of part sales.
                  Actually, I’d say that we have lost something that was special about NZ in the last few decades. Our media have learnt how to report the deaths of homeless people without getting too worried about it.  The calibre of our politicians has plummetted to the point that our Speaker makes no pretense at impartiality. We have steadily slid down the OECD in terms of standards of living. But mostly we reward active troughing and corruption where once we merely trusted that nobody would be that crass.
                  It’s not just down to asset sales, but piece by piece we sold our souls and our community for cheap plastic imported shit. Most of the population have had enough. The government is still in troughing mode.

                • Lanthanide

                  “I’m sure we will survive a handful of part sales.”

                  I’m sure the country would “survive” if we executed everyone receiving a benefit, too. But that doesn’t make it good policy, or that “survival” should be the basis on which we judge whether a policy is acceptable to implement or not.

                  • The country has survived much more significant policies than MOM.

                    I don’t recall us ever executing someone on a benefit.

                    • McFlock

                      But you never try to dissemble or distract, no…

                    • Lanthanide

                      Again, what does “surviving” have to do with whether we decide a policy is worth implementing?

                      It’s like using as our basis for whether we should implement any policy, “will this policy kill 10,000 people? If not, then we should implement it”. You’re setting the bar so high (only anything that impinged on ‘survival’ wouldn’t be implemented) as to be meaningless.

  4. Kotahi Tane Huna 4

    The notion of “mandate” is bullshit. Governments are mandated to govern, not given carte blanche to do as they please.

    Even if I concede that point (which I don’t), the idea that the voters of one electorate can convey a mandate that affects the wider community is dubious in the extreme.

  5. Pete 5

    Even if I concede that point (which I don’t), the idea that the voters of one electorate can convey a mandate that affects the wider community is dubious in the extreme.

    Then you’d better unwind a lot of Labour’s policies, then.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      Or alternatively I could find your suggestion to be indicative of low intelligence and worthy of ridicule.

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        No, it’s a fair point.

        If you want to talk mandates Labour (who based their whole campaign on anti asset sales) has a much weaker mandate than National.

        Every voter should have been well aware of National’s intent on going ahead with some degree asset sales and would have voted with that in mind.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          Labour did not “base their whole campaign” on anti-asset sales, and there goes your entire argument. Better luck next time.

          • Pete George

            Wrong. Labour devoted far more of their campaigning to anti asset sales than National did to their MOM.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Are you dense? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. In ACT wannabe land, “far more” means “whole”.

          • Pete

            It was their trump card. The one thing they shouted most loudly about. Everyone was quite clear that a vote for Labour was a vote to oppose asset sales.

            Result: record loss

            Better luck next time.

            • Colonial Viper

              Actually the record loss is still held by the driver and champion of the asset sales: Bill English.

              • Jester

                Arguing about who is the biggest loser and 2nd biggest loser is hysterically funny.

                Reminds me of the tv show. You may win the competition but by even competing for the title you are still fucking useless by default.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              A vote for Labour was a vote for a minimum wage rise, capital gains taxation on investment property, the extension of WFF to beneficiaries, etc. etc.

              As a Green voter I think a lot of those policies make sense, but what was your point again?

              • Why are you leaving out their key campaign focus?

                Another serious misjudgement was Labour’s conviction that their campaign ace-in-the-hole was their opposition to the sale of state assets.


                They shoved most of their other policies (and leader) into the background, except for the $15 minimum wage.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Oh well if appeals to authority impress you; from the same article:

                  As it turned out, Goff won one of the three televised debates hands down and, in my submission, had an honourable draw in the other two. But it was simply too late. I suspect that if Goff had won all three debates hands down, the outcome would have been no different. The country wasn’t listening.

                  My emphasis.

                  Oops, your authority puts Labour’s result down to apathy.

                  • Now you’re starting to get it.

                    Labour’s campaign in the last five days before the election will focus on a single policy – opposition to National’s promised sale of up to 49 per cent of five state-owned assets.

                    Two words – asset sales – had defined the election campaign, Mr Goff said.


                    There was general apathy and the country wasn’t listening to Labour’s over the top anti asset sales campaign.

                    And from a Goff final week speech called The Countdown to Stopping Asset Sales:

                    This is my pledge to you today.

                    I will travel across the country to spread this message.

                    I will look people in the eye and tell them that only a vote for Labour can stop the asset sales.

                    I will work harder this week than I ever have.

                    I will not rest because this is our last chance to save our assets.

                    He mustn’t have put much hope in a post election petition and referendum.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “The nation’s love affair with John Key, without doubt the greatest exponent of the photo opportunity and ‘skinetics’ in the history of New Zealand politics…”

                      Your authority thinks that National won the election because people voted, for want of a better phrase, for John Key’s teeth, and according to you that delivers a ‘mandate’.

                      The election was not a referendum on asset sales, no matter how hard you try.

                    • Hanswurst

                      Well, the issue with the petition remains to be seen. The left’s loss notwithstanding, Goff’s all-out campaigning may turn out to have been effective yet. After all, National’s wafer-thin majority and the resulting scrutiny of that ineffectual and increasingly forlorn figure, Mr. Dunne, seem to be undermining the right’s authority and decisiveness on asset sales and the PoAL dispute.

                  • I’ve not claimed the election was a mandate on asset sales.

                    The election enabled National to put together a government with two slim majority options, and so as long as they don’t have dissent in their own party and can get either of their two options onside they can promote any policies their coalition agreements allow.

                    Losing parties can grizzle and claim all they like but it doesn’t change our democratic facts.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Well, you’d best make up your mind for once, Pete. If the election was intended to gain a mandate for asset sales, then National failed to get that mandate. If the election wasn’t intended to get a mandate, then National still have no mandate.

                    • I’ve already said that ‘mandate’ is pretty much meaningless. Those that claim there’s no mandate are clasping at straws, with no grip on reality.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its the leader of your party about to help pass the Peter Dunne Epitaph bill who has no grip on the coming reality.

                    • McFlock


                      I’ve already said that ‘mandate’ is pretty much meaningless.

                      So basically, pete, the source of disagreement is that you have no understanding of ethices or the actual objectives of democracy? Good to know.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “I’ve already said that ‘mandate’ is pretty much meaningless. Those that claim there’s no mandate are clasping at straws, with no grip on reality.”

                      “Mandate” has no meaning, the government has one, and I’m the one struggling with reality. Yes, that sounds like a steaming midden of Dunne to me.

                    • To help you with reality the government has 61, 62, 63 or 64 votes in parliament. Quite simple really.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Yes, Pete, on Earth we call that “a majority”. “Majority” and “mandate” are not interchangeable concepts. Quite simple really.

                    • Yes, you’re right, simple. Now try and explain to Zetetic.

                      It’s got nothing to do with “Dunne has no mandate to vote for asset sales”, Dunne is a part of a parliamentary majority (so far) on MOM.

                    • McFlock

                      A majority that wouldn’t exist if Dunne didn’t want to sell the country down the river.

      • Pete 5.1.2

        You could, but it would signal you’ve already lost the point as you can’t counter.

        Labour ran with a majority of 61/121 in their third term. And as PG points out, the “mandate opposing” is very weak if you use your own criteria of counting the numbers.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          My own criteria of counting the numbers? Remind me how your failure to understand a word I’m writing means you can simply make up bullshit I didn’t say.

          • Pete

            They have a mandate to govern. They have the numbers to govern. They have the mandate and numbers to part-sell assets.

            End of story.

            If Dunne was agreeing with Labour policy, as he did for many years, there would be no question of “mandates”. It’s a feeble attack line made by intellectual lightweights.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Once again you demonstrate that you do not understand what I am saying. That’s ok, I’ll try and spell it out more clearly.

              Any party I vote for would be very foolish to assume that my support in an election equates to support for all their policies. Equally, not voting National doesn’t mean I reject everything they have done: I support their policy of not legalising assault on children, for example.

              Any politician who claims a mandate for an individual policy risks losing any support I may otherwise have given them: it is only ever used as a means of suppressing debate.

              However, let’s say you are correct (lol), and National has a mandate to sell 49% of SOE assets to New Zealand Mum’s and Dad’s as first priority, and a mandate to realise $6bn from the sale, and a mandate to use the funds to pay down debt.

              Penny dropping yet?

              • muzza

                The penny can’t drop for the likes of Pete, as it is simply that he is not bright enough to understand that the JK lead government is on a mission to ensure that the hard, strategic assets are freed up so the theieves will have best chance to get their hands on them with as little resistence as possible. How does this benefir the country, well its doesn’t, and anyone with a shred of intelligence understands this.

                Maybe Pete is likey to benefit directly from the new MOM, either by way of fees, commissions etc.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  …thirty pieces of silver is the going rate for Quislings, I believe.

                • Pete

                  I think you’ll find it will be mostly owned by Kiwisaver funds and Iwi. Are these the thieves to which you refer?

                  • muzza

                    Dont be a silly troll Pete, you know what I am referring to, or maybe you don’t!

                    Go have wee look around the globe at the theft of hard assets, lands and the attempts to steal whole countries is on, and they are going for it like bandits!

                    Your ilk cant put together s single cogent argument that stacks up!

                    Nz is going to get it, that much is for sure….this is the thin edge…

                    Troll on!

                  • McFlock

                    And I think you’ll find that the magical faery folk will come and lead us to a land of wonder…

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    Thieves to which I refer? Do tell.

                    Edit – um, I see you were responding to Muzza, not me. Please ignore this comment 🙂

              • Pete

                Silly semantics. You’re claiming a government doesn’t have a mandate on a policy by policy basis.

                Government doesn’t work that way.

                A policy may be unpopular, but because they have a mandate to govern, they have a mandate to pass any policy, popular or not. You might recall s59.

                Dunne was elected on the basis he would support National, and National have a policy of PPP. If the policy was as important to people as you’re making out, they would have voted *against* National and, by extension, the PPP policy.

                They didn’t. Ergo, whilst they may not specifically endorse the policy, they don’t care enough about it to cast their vote against it.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  No thoughts on the fact that they voted for Mom ‘n’ Pop owners of a $6bn share float which will bring prices down by increasing efficiency?

                  Since that is what National campaigned on, by your definition they have no mandate for the current proposal.

                  Oh, and the argument that “government doesn’t work that way” is ridiculous. “Government doesn’t work” by forcing legislation through without consultation, and yet that is the way this government behaves. “Government doesn’t work” when the ruling party solicits and accepts overseas bribes for law changes, and yet that is the way this government behaves.

                  And, by the way, the High Court doesn’t seem to think that government works that way either.

                  Perhaps it’s just a difference of ethics, though. I expect the government to consult, debate, argue in good faith, and make decisions based on sound evidence rather than whatever some steaming midden of Dunne thinks. When a politician starts invoking their mandate that is the ultimate appeal to authority, and a sure sign that logic and reason cannot help them.

                  • Pete

                    Whilst I disagreed with much of what Labour did, I never questioned their mandate or authority to do it. They were the government, they campaigned on the policy, the people voted them in to enact that policy, and that is what they did.

                    But when it comes to National, there are endless calls for “consultation” and questioning of their authority to govern, and pass policy they campaigned on.

                    The policy was signaled a long way out. Labour talked about little else. The public decided.

                    It didn’t go your way.

  6. Are there people, aside from Pete ‘Wormtongue’ George, who believe that Dunne is showing any credibility/responsibility/loyalty at all over this issue? Dunne’s minion is the only defender of the shameful behaviour of the UnitedFuture leader around the sale of our assets and I wonder why you humour him here. Is it merely for our entertainment? It palls, it palls!

    • You could ask the moderators to enforce a closed shop of selective criticism with no debate or dissenting options allowed. But you may find that approach palls to them.

    • Pete 6.2

      Dunne is doing what we voted him to do – support National.

      The combined “forces” of Hughes ‘n Chuckles lost. No mandate.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        Actually, wasn’t Dunne’s platform to moderate the governing party, or some such crap?
        Rubberstamping unaltered policy isn’t keeping them in check. 
        oooo – mondayising – forgot that. Major display of independent thought there /sarc

      • muzza 6.2.2

        The country is going to lose you sorry little peon….

        It’s beyond your ability to rationalise past the end of your own nose from your posts though…


        • Pete

          Stunning argument.

          Sour grapes, eh. Better luck next time.

          PS: Chuckles ‘aint the right man for Ohariu. Dunne is everywhere in this electorate – he’s the quintessential electorate MP, partly because he doesn’t have a party list position to fall back on.

          We get huge bang for our buck with Dunne and a direct line to power. With Chuckles and Ronald, we get low level party minions.

          • Mark

            Every electorate has the same power – Ohariu just chose to use it.

            Imagine if it had been one seat the other way and Hone held the balance of power. The voter turnout in Te Tai Tokerau was 40%! He got in with only 6000 votes to his name (NB. Dunne had twice that number). If this blog has any integrity it should be slamming Hone also for having no mandate to even open his mouth. Clearly integrity is lacking here though and verbal abuse wins out over facts.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Oh get down from your pulpit. Political debate is always “robust” – that’s why it’s banned in polite company.

              Your point about Hone is well made – a slight swing to the left could have delivered him the balance of power. Which doesn’t worry me in the least, but I’m sure you regard as something akin to “dogs and cats living together”.

            • Pete

              Indeed. If Dunne was voting the way they wanted him to, they wouldn’t be talking about a lack of mandate.

              The mandate argument is a red herring.

              And a very silly one…..

          • muzza

            “Sour grapes, better luck next time”

            I’m not a party voter, and your attitude that this is some sort of competition that can be won or lost is indicitive of a large number of morons this country has still in it, on all sides..

            Sadly attitudes such as this will take us all down with it….So thanks Pete, very much, I am sure you younger family members will be thankful in years to come!

            • Pete

              “Take us down”?

              Oh for crying out loud. Anyone would think Dunne was voting for Armageddon. Three years from now, everyone will be wondering what on earth all the fuss was about.

              Do you think the public should own a Hotel chain? How about 100% of an airline? Given we don’t, has this resulted in us “going down”? Will our children fail to thanks us?

              • muzza

                Specifically I am referring to the power companies for the time being, as they are somewhat cucial, as I am sure you would agree..

                To cite the spurios examples you did was to attempt to deflect into unimportance, the rather serious nature around energy supply, and the control over it!

      • mikesh 6.2.3

        No doubt many National supporters voted hm in “to support National”. So in fact he is just a “lackey”. who didn’t make into parliament on his own merit.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.3


      Genius 🙂

  7. AT LAST!

    Finally – some traction on the application of ‘one law for all’ to those whom most loudly espoused it?

    WE NEED AN URGENT PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY into why John Banks and Don Brash were never prosecuted by either the former Securities Commission, the Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), or the NZ Police.

    Arguably, the balance of power in New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ is being held by a yet-to-be charged ‘white collar’ criminal – who couldn’t competently run a Kiwisaver Scheme?



    Those who are opposed to state asset sales should, in my considered opinion. do what they can to support the call for this inquiry.

    The vote of John Banks is arguably quite pivotal here.


    Penny Bright

    • You’re on the wrong thread with this Penny.

      That linked article says:

      The FMA said the Securities Commission “obtained the advice of respected counsel on this issue. That advice was then reviewed and confirmed by a Queen’s Counsel. The commission considered that advice and the results of its investigation carefully.
      Ad Feedback

      “It formed the view that there was insufficient evidence to show that either Dr Brash or Mr Banks would have known that the prospectus contained misleading information.”

      Wouldn’t it be odd if politicians decided if politicians should be charged or not?

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.1

        Yet the judgement against Graham et al makes it clear that they had no intention to deceive, and no knowledge of the facts. Precisely the same argument employed to allow Brash and Banks to walk free.

        Come on Pete, tell us all why that’s all fine and above board, won’t you?

        • Pete

          Ho ho. Penny Bright taking action against Banks?

          How strange. How strange indeed.

        • Pete George

          Kotahi Tane Huna, I don’t know the facts of either case so I won’t make any comparative assumptions.

          I think our legal system is capable of getting most things right most of the time – and a significant factor is the separation of politics from justice.

          Do you think politicians should decide who is prosecuted?

      • Penny Bright 7.1.2

        Shouldn’t politicians investigate WHY four ‘regulatory bodies’ have failed to apply ‘one law for all’ to those whom most loudly espoused it – former and current ACT Party Leaders John Banks and Don Brash?

        Why is the ‘new’ Finance Markets Authority (FMA) regurgitating the view of the former Securities Commission which it replaced ?

        Isn’t it fair to say that the reason for the replacement of the former Securities Commission by the FMA – because with the collapse of so many finance companies and the loss of so many billion$ of monies by ‘mum and dad’ investors – the former Securities Commission was widely regarded as being ‘useless’?

        I’ll say it again.

        In my considered opinion, the failure to prosecute former fellow Directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd Don Brash and John Banks, for signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 can be ‘arguably perceived as a corrupt form of political protection’.

        I’m sure that there will be a significant number of concerned New Zealanders who will support the call for such an inquiry – especially given the ‘perceived’ status of New Zealand as ‘the least corrupt country in the world’?

        Penny Bright

    • starlight 7.2

      I know you are on the wrong thread,but wikipedia has some info on this subject,i had a look
      at it,there is definatley a questionable act that needs investigating and that is when the investment
      arm was going under,they changed the company and name,made peter in charge and the rest
      is history,he took the wrap for the other two.
      Truth always has a way of comming out.

    • mikesh 7.3

      If JB is forced to resign over this the resulting bye -election will see a National member returned, so the relative numbers won’t have changed.

  8. Kotahi Tane Huna 8

    In reply to PG @

    Good point Pete: I have only read media reports in either case, not the actual judgements. Under normal circumstances I’d go looking for the judgements themselves but I am feeling very lazy. Please feel free to try and get better information.

    My first reaction to your question is that politicians decide who should be prosecuted all the time when they pass laws. People who sign untrue statements, for example.

    But I know what you mean.

    I am not sure sure about the accuracy of our legal system – there is so much evidence of biases in courtrooms overseas our judges would have to be superhuman not to fall prey to them. Even the fact of having had a recent meal can affect judgements that are handed down.

    I think it is clearly in the public interest that negligent actions by directors be prosecuted. The Graham judgement makes it clear that ol’ Doug had no criminal or even shifty intent (leaving aside the innate shiftiness of the whole industry, which is another story), and I personally would not see it as a barrier to future employment, but your signature is not a rubber stamp, and that alone is enough to get them all in hot water: they breached a duty of care.

    I think the decision to let Banks and Brash walk may or may not be valid, but it is surely a legitimate question for debate. The decision has been made – can such a decision be appealed? Wouldn’t that be a bit like what happened to Julian Assange?

    That is the legal and ethical niceties addressed if not taken care of. Now then, how does it look from a PR angle? 😈

  9. My first reaction to your question is that politicians decide who should be prosecuted all the time when they pass laws.

    No, they don’t decide who should be prosecuted at all, they decide the laws under which the police and judiciary decide who should be prosecuted.

    Our justice system has flaws for sure, and some really stink things do happen, but it’s better than most if not all alternatives. One of the last thing we want is politicians actively involved in any part other than writing the laws.

    I’d expect prosecutors to be particularly careful considering ex politions of that profile in a case.

  10. Reagan Cline 10

    KTH. You probably crave a leader. Does the thought of being led excite you ?

  11. Nick 11

    Unfortunately Peter Dunne is my local MP, I hope this spineless and pathetic stand on asset sales costs him any chance of a return in 2014. He knows that if he had clearly and unabiguously come out in support of these asset sales before the election he would’ve risked not being returned to parliament.

    I’ve asked him why he thinks Kiwibank, Water and Radio New Zealand are so important as to be off the table but energy supply is not. Its a double standard, one he played to good effect in the election sounding like he was supporting all sides of the debate simultaneously. If the good people of Ohariu supported National they would’ve voted National, instead they voted for National tempered by a ‘moderate’ voice who has just turned out to be a lap dog as he has been for years (no matter who’s in power).

    The fact the he won Ohariu gives him a mandate to represent us in parliament, not a mandate to be the sole deciding factor in selling these key assets, or mindlessly enable a significant and damamging policy to be passed.

    The majority of New Zealanders don’t want these partial asset sales, polls consistently show this, I’d be interested to see what Peter Dunne’s inbox shows about public opinion on this matter..

    Winning the seat doesn’t give you three years carte blanche to do what you feel like (or your bosses in National are telling you to do). It gives you the right to represent the thoughts, concerns, ideals of the people in your electorate throughout your term in parliament.

    Key’s going to leave before 2014 taking a shiny new CV with him and a lot of new big business buddies, there are going to be a lot of people close to him and his policies that get badly burned in the next election, Peter Dunne has the oppurtunity to be a public hero but seems to have decided he isn’t up to it.

  12. Mark 12

    Was David Lange a special kind of arsehole? Did he commit treason also?

    Cut the violence; its only politics. Power to the people and smaller government.

    • McFlock 12.1

      Lange was weak.
      Douglas and Prebble, on the other hand – hell yes.

    • McFlock 12.2

      “only politics”?
      Only people’s livelihoods, quality of life and sometimes lives, you mean.
      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: politics is not a game. Government affects real people in real ways.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.3

      McFlock is right, Mark – “poverty is violence”, for example, and your desire for “smaller government” goes against the established evidence, if the nation’s well-being is your goal (unless you have substantial evidence to the contrary that is). Speaking of smaller government, in 2008, government expenditure was 31% of GDP – the same value as in 1999. It is now 35%.

      So clearly “larger government” – as embodied by this one – doesn’t really help things either. Jeez, perhaps it’s the things the government does. Ya think?

      Sorry, I used that old lefty trick – “The Reality Check.”

      • Pete George 12.3.1

        Poverty isn’t violence. Many things contribute. Alcohol is a common factor. But violence is violence. Most poor people and most drunk people don’t usually resort to violence.

        If people with a predisposition to violence are in poverty the pressures can make violent behaviour more likely, more frequent and more violent, but poverty does not cause violence, just like rich power complexes don’t cause violence.

        Violence is so prevalent because we have a culture that has accepted violence as ameans of expressing anger and frustration, and displaying power.

        Solutions to violence are quite different to solutions to poverty. Theoretically poverty could be instantly overcome with a lotto win, but that wouldn’t remove the predisposition to violence.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          Pete, the fact that you spent four paragraphs debunking a slogan might be considered a measure of the slogan’s effectiveness.

          “Inequality is violence” would be more accurate, but “poverty is violence” has a much better stylist, no?

          • Pete George

            Inequality isn’t violence. I’m not sure if forty paragraphs would get it through though.

            No poverty orn inequality to blame in this thread that led to violence.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              No, no no no no no no no no. No.

              Slogans (or hair if you prefer) like that are not the same as arguments. Let me break it down for you.

              The level of equality in any developed nation correlates very well with levels of violence. Levels of equality are a function of policy, not circumstance.

              So the slogan is intended to help enable the wider debate, you see?

              • Yeah, there’s a lot of violence in Syria at the moment, and I don’t think it’s those who may be in poverty who are inflicting most of it.

                What do you think equality is? Attainable?

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Oh puleeze!

                  Do you understand the difference between “equality” and “level of equality”? Yes or no?

                • muzza

                  PG are you working from your masters inbox today?- He’s got you working a Sunday responding to all the shit he is getting via email and the net, come on man, time to see when you have been taken for a ride. Surely you have more to offer than that, its not weak to admit you have made a mistake. You won’t learn that from your boss!

                  Its a fluffers life eh….

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Pete George mixes metaphors well
                  But his arguments are shot to hell
                  Cos the violent wealthy
                  Are a symptom unhealthy
                  Inequality’s consequential.

      • Mark 12.3.2

        I agree – National has made government larger. That is bad.

        I can’t think of any example where large government has been good for the people and not just the rulers themselves. Ever. Think Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union – very different political ideals but a large government system which means oppression of the people.

  13. mikesh 13

    Lets look at the situation from Dunne’s point of view. He can see 60 votes favouring asset sales and 60 votes opposing. Therefore he can’t claim the policy deserves support on the basis of some sort of “mandate”. In fact if there is a mandate it his vote that will have created it, so he needs to ensure that his vote is wisely used. And if he is voting for asset sales just because that was what he had to do to obtain a cabinet post, then he is corrupt.

  14. marsman 14

    Well said mikesh.

  15. Reagan Cline 16

    Nick, your second to last paragraph is spot on mate. And its so good to get the story from one of his consituents.

  16. portia 17

    On-topic question (sort of): wasn’t there talk of a petition for a nationwide referendum on asset sales? Maybe around the beginning of last week? I seem to remember hearing it on Morning Report, but maybe I was still asleep.

    • Nick 17.1

      There was talk of a petition, National said they would ignore it but if the petition gets enough signatures then they have to at least hold the referendum which will give the public a clear voice on this issue no matter what the eventual outcome.

      I’d certainly sign it if I knew where to do it.

    • There has been talk of a petition and they have suggested a proposed referendum question which would give National and easy out.

      A political journo last week suggested it would tale 16-18 months to get a result, by then one or two assets may have been part-sold already.

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