Granny Herald (finally) outs Julian Robertson as National donor

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 pm, January 1st, 2008 - 78 comments
Categories: Media, national - Tags: ,

In a front-page article about New Year’s honours focussing on expatriate Kiwi Owen Glenn’s contribution to the Labour Party, Auckland University, and numerous other New Zealand charities, the Herald stated that wealthy American billionaire Julian Robertson, “who contributed to National last election”, is now banned from giving money to political parties here.

Until this admission, Robertson has been best known in New Zealand for his exclusive golf courses at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, both built on prime sea view land and coming with exorbitant green fees.

During the last election, when it was relevant and the issue of Robertson’s contributions issue was raised by Trevor Mallard, the Herald ran Don Brash and Steven Joyce’s denials that Robertson was a donor. They quoted Joyce’s words “we did not get any cheques from Americans”, as if that was the only way money arrived! Don Brash was quoted as saying that the notion that Americans were funding National’s campaign a “thundering lie”.

The Hollow Men (pp257-258) however reveals that on the inside National was concerned to play down the association between American money and National policy. Richard Long drafted the vehement response lines for Brash and McCully, although the responses re fundraising by Americans were more “slippery”, into the don’t know category, and Long suggested questions from journalists should be deflected to the party officials, as they were.

It’s no wonder that the Herald thinks that hidden money doesn’t matter in elections when they just take the National Party feed – their 2005 story ran straight along the Long lines.

78 comments on “Granny Herald (finally) outs Julian Robertson as National donor”

  1. burt 1

    I get it, Julian Robertson contributed to National (possibly a bit less than that rich prick Owen Glenn) so it’s OK that Labour have billionaire (rich prick) foreign backers – because National has.

    Wow here was me thinking it was pretty twisted that Labour gave an honour to a guy who hasn’t paid tax in NZ since 1966 and then we find out that National were given money by an American rich prick. So under the logic of “they did it too” I guess you think it’s all OK that an honour was given to somebody who has done nothing more for NZ than donate to the Labour party?

  2. John 2

    No, burt, I think you missed the point. The point was when it comes to National for some reason the Herald is prone to bias. Whether it is on purpose or just laziness or incompetence, I don’t know.

    On your points though, Owen Glenn is a New Zealander by birth and I guess Julian Robertson is not even a resident of New Zealand let alone a citizen. It’s a surpise to me that Mr Robertson is not a formal resident, but I guess if you think about it, as long as he is not, he does not have to pay New Zealand taxes on his personal income. So, I guess it is in his interest not to be a resident.

    In my humle opinion, if you don’t commit to a country you should not be allowed to participate in its political process. I mean US law forbids you (assuming you are not a US resident or citizen) and me from donating to any US political candidate or party. So, why should Mr Robertson be allowed to give money to the National Party for a New Zealand election?

    You also have to ask what were the motives of Mr Glenn and Mr Robertson. Mr Glenn is a very successful business man who has not lived in New Zealand for many years, but he has given back to New Zealand in many ways, particularly to Auckland University. Mr Glenn has little to gain from any government of the day. Mr Robertson on the other hand, is apparently not a New Zealand resident or citizen and has made controverisal investments in New Zealand. He probably wants to develop more properties and feels the Nats will let him get around current environmental regulations. So, he gives to improve his personal wealth.

    That would have been Mr Robertson’s experience in George Bush’s America. So, he naturally thinks that is how things work here.

  3. dad4justice 3

    Any bricks for sale over here as I got a few feline friends that need some ?
    Respectfully
    d4j

  4. John:

    If National gave Julian Robertson a gong in exchange for his donation to the National Party, then I’d expect the Herald to make a huge fuss about it.

    You claim that Julian Robertson has not made any commitment to New Zealand. You then state that he has made many “controversial” investments in New Zealand. I’m not sure what you mean by “controversial”. Do you mean the Kauri Cliffs Golf Course? Which part of that is controversial? Is it because it is widely regarded by New Zealand and international golfers as one of the finest and most spectacular golf courses in the world? Julian Robertson pays tax on his New Zealand investments, and makes a major contribution to the New Zealand economy. Since he does not live in New Zealand, he doesn’t pay tax on his New Zealand income. That does not mean that his New Zealand investments are not liable for tax. Robertson hardly chooses not to live in New Zealand for tax purposes: the marginal top tax rates in the US are significantly higher than in New Zealand.

    Owen Glenn is not a New Zealander by birth. He was born in Britain. He became a New Zealand citizen, but has not lived in New Zealand for forty years. He has not paid any tax in New Zealand for forty years.

    And your final point, John, is substantially undermined, because you haven’t come up with any evidence to prove Trevor Mallard’s smear that National’s chief bag-man was an American, that National Party policy was written in Washington, by Americans, or that the US was funding National’s campaign. Labour never had any evidence, and all you’re coming up with is baseless muck-raking. And it isn’t even NEW muck-raking.

    But nice try defending Labour’s move to outlaw everyone donating to political parties, except its friends’ donations to Labour. And nice try at deflecting attention from Labour giving a gong to somebody who has done pretty much nothing else for New Zealand, other than make a whopping great donation to the Labour Party.

  5. John 5

    The EFA does not prevent any New Zealand citizen or resident from donating to any political party or candidate, no matter how misguided their choice.

    As for donations from foreigners like Mr Robertson, well the electoral laws of his own country – the supposed birthplace of free speech – prevents me from donating to my favourite US Presidential candidate. So, why should he be allowed to donate to a candidate or party in my country?

    With the investments he has made, I am sure Mr Robertson could easily get residency. So, if he wants to meddle in our politics, he should get a visa. Then he could even cast a vote in elections.

    If he does not want to make that commitment to New Zealand, then he should stay out of our elections and focus on his investments. It is his choice to make and he is free to make it.

  6. burt 6

    John

    You are still skirting around the issue of “honours for cash”? Is that issue just too embarrassing or do you actually believe the spin that National are nasty because they received money from and American where as Labour are good because Own Glenn lived in NZ 40 years ago?

  7. burt 7

    John

    The EFA does not prevent any New Zealand citizen or resident from donating to any political party or candidate, no matter how misguided their choice.

    This is a half truth and you know it. I can donate up to a limit – so yes it prevents me from donating “as much as I want”. Therefore I’m limited and while limited is not prevented it amounts to much the same thing. Perhaps I should should move to the UK for a few weeks and then donate my millions to the political party of my choice – I’m picking you would think that was pretty valid – it works for Owen Glenn.

    BTW: Can you find out what the threshold is for receiving a gong, I’d like to be as economical as possible and if $300K will cut it then there is no need for me to donate more.

  8. burt 8

    John

    Perhaps it would help if we clarified the situation. If I have business interests that employ people and I donate to causes I believe in in NZ and I live in America, and I’m rich: I’m nasty.

    If I have no business interests in NZ but donate money to causes I believe in and I live in the UK, and I’m rich: I’m a good person.

    Is it just the UK vs US think that tips the balance? Is it owning assets that generate revenue in NZ that upsets you? Or is it as simple and partisan as one donates to Labour and the other donates to National that grabs your attention?

  9. John,

    You’re not doing very well to defend Labour’s cash-for-honours scandal, are you? All you’ve done is highlight that Labour changed electoral law to allow its foreign-based, non-voting supporter with no commitment to channel vasts amounts of money to the Labour Party, while outlawing wealthy people with considerable interests in New Zealand from donating to anybody else.

    Owen Glenn got a gong after contributing at least $500,000 to the Labour Party, and despite not living in New Zealand for more than forty years. Ken Stevens, who was already appointed Export Champion of the Year at the beginning of the year by Trevor Mallard, got a knighthood-equivalent honour. Ken Stevens owns a mid-sized company of 190 people. Hardly a lion of industrial New Zealand. But oh, he has been, through his company Glidepath, one of the biggest contributors to the Labour Party.

    Labour gives its rich backers state medals, while blacklisting everybody else. I wouldn’t have thought that’s a very constructive way of pegging back the nineteen-point gap in the polls.

  10. Kauri cliffs….
    Marvelous facility, I live about 15 minutes down the road from this course and enjoy it’s facilities every couple of months. They are probably the best employer in the North. This “Billionaire bag man” really looks after his staff, suppliers and contractors up here. We need more filthy rich yanks like this one. Certainly more than we need a transplanted pom funding the dykocracy from Sydney.
    Take a drive up to Kauri cliffs, bring your clubs and question the staff. You will be amazed at how happy everybody up here is that we have a “bagman” investing in our fantastic region.

  11. Anita 11

    The most important fact is not that a Julian Robertson gave money to the National Party, it’s that National Party officials and politicians lied/dissembled about it.

    The right has done a great spin job on the EFA; we need to remember that at it’s core it’s about transparency, it’s about our right to know who is funding NZ political parties.

    Yet another example of deception from the right about the sources of party funding is yet another example of why we so desparately need legislation which forces transaprency and honesty.

  12. Ah, I see, Anita. By transparency, you cunningly exclude the use of taxpayers’ funds for political parties to dip into parliamentary appropriations to fund their election campaigns. You know, of the kind the Labour Party used illegally to the tune of over $800,000 at the last election. When the Labour Party ignored the Auditor-General’s warnings not to use parliamentary services funding for their election return, they simply passed a law making their illegal actions legal.

    Except the EFA mandates that kind of “transparency” to happen again and again.

  13. burt 13

    IP

    Transparency is what ever the Labour party say it is – not what level minded reasonable people expect.

    Do as we say and not as we do – the new standard of openness and accountability promised by Labour!

  14. Anita 14

    IP, well done we’re off transpareny again in um… 9 minutes! 🙂

    Just for the record, do you believe high value anonymous donations to political parties should be allowed?

  15. Anita 15

    IP, oh and while I’m asking yes/no questions…

    Do you think political parties should be allowed to lie about their sources of their funding?

  16. Kimble 16

    If Owen Glenn had lived in the US there would have been no Labour muck racking. That much should be obvious to anyone.

    “But wealthy foreigners, such as American billionaire Julian Robertson, who contributed to National last election, are now banned from giving money to political parties.”

    Is that IT? Have you checked the veracity of this claim? It is not National that said it, it was The Herald.

    The Herald saying something, is not the same as National admitting it.

    If that is all you’ve got, the you have NOTHING. Note, I am not saying it isnt true, so dont bother responding as if I did. What I AM saying is that you haven’t done enough work, or got enough information to confirm the “AHA!” as you thought you did.

    You have quite obviously gone off half-cocked, which is not much different from being a complete cock.

    Anita, you lefties have it in your head that everyone who opposes the EFA must want unlimited anonymous donations to political parties. That just isnt true. It is just another pathetic strawman.

  17. Anita 17

    Kimble,

    The Herald have indirectly said that Brash and Joyce (amongst others) were liars by saying Robertson was a donor. They either have proof or are remarkably brave (or stupid 🙂

    I realise there are people who oppose the EFA and also oppose unlimited political donations. What I find a little distasteful is the (wide variety of) people who attack the EFA but aren’t willing to front up on anonymous donations. Arguing strident;y against the EFA on some grounds but not admitting to also opposing caps on anymous donations is either slippery or deceptive depending on ones cynicism.

  18. Dean 18

    “Yet another example of deception from the right about the sources of party funding is yet another example of why we so desparately need legislation which forces transaprency and honesty.”

    Anita, what have you got to say about the honours for cash debacle?

    A direct and honest answer would be appreciated.

  19. Dean 19

    “No, burt, I think you missed the point. The point was when it comes to National for some reason the Herald is prone to bias.”

    I loled.

    Pravda herald, anyone? Oh, no wait. That was before people like you cared about the bias of the media.

    John A, your memory must be so short that you’re honestly astounded that the media could have bias. Or did you just choose to look the other way when it suited you? In either case, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

  20. Anita 20

    Dean,

    To be honest I haven’t read enough of the background to know whether or not Glenn deserved the honour, and in general I’d want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that aside…

    I don’t believe Glenn should have been given the honour.

    Whether or not it is bad, it looks bad. One of the foundations of a democratic society is people’s trust in the system; their belief that the system is not corrupt. Honouring Glenn is likely to increase our distrust of the democratic system, which in turn reduces people’s belief that they are important, and that they can influence things, that they are as valued as everyone else.

    As it happens, I’ve argued that there should be a (relatively low) cap on non-anonymous donors (and a lower one for anonymous ones) for exactly this reason. Whether or not there is corruption, people are likely to have a (reasonable) fear that someone who donates $300k to a political party has more sway over the future of New Zealand than they do.

  21. Anita 21

    Dean,

    So…

    High value anonymous donations? Ok/Not ok

    Lieing about the sources of political party funding? Ok/Not ok

    [Apologies if this appears twice, I seem to be in the twilight zone :]

  22. Kimble 22

    “The Herald have indirectly said that Brash and Joyce (amongst others) were liars by saying Robertson was a donor.”

    Which should mean the next thing you do is check whether or not they are correct or if they have made a mistake. Journalists make mistakes, you know.

    What you should NOT do is create a fantasy that the Herald has some sort of inside information and that this was a slip of the tongue which has backfired on their political masters. Doing that is retarded, but it does seem to be the modus operandi here at The Stantard.

    “What I find a little distasteful is the (wide variety of) people who attack the EFA but aren’t willing to front up on anonymous donations.”

    Like who? You asked people here about what they thought of anonymous donations. No one answered. You call that not fronting up, and I expect will continue to believe Tane et al’s BS about us just wanting to buy elections using secret donations.

    Again, you are creating a fantasy that those who oppose the EFA also support unlimited anonymous donations. If you have actually followed what people have said around the blogs, very few prefer anonymous donations. In actual fact, most supported the removal of anonymity from sizeable donations even before Labour released the EFB.

    You guys have to stop fighting strawmen. Most of all, you have to stop making shit up about our reasons for opposing the EFA and about our intentions in general.

  23. Anita 23

    Kimble,

    Ok, it’s the 2nd of January 2008, you have the ability to pass/repeal any electoral funding legislation you want… . What are you going to do?

    Given the current mess of poorly drafted legislation, ballsed up legislative process, public outcry, wound-up rhetoric on both sides, a late 2008 election, and legislation that was “worked around” in both 2002 and 2005 it’s not a question I could answer easily.

  24. Kimble 24

    Its a simple question to answer. I would scrap the EFA completely and revert to what was used previously for the next election. This is assuming we dont have time to bring in new legislation before the election. The EFA was passed weeks, if not months, too late.

    Then work during 2008 on legislation with input from all political parties and ample opportunity for public submissions. You know, what Labour should have done in the first place.

    Was there really any urgent need to pass this legislation with such reckless urgency? Seriously. What did Labour think was going to happen in this coming election that warranted passing legislation as bad as this?

    I really dont know how people can still defend Labour and their cronies given the blatant self serving nature of the law they obviously threw together in electoral panic

  25. Anita 25

    Kimble,

    I think there are some pretty clear signs that the old legislation wasn’t working. People had been finding more loopholes and getting better at taking advantage of them each election. On top of that we found out in 2005 that the law, as it stood, was not only flawed but actually unenforceable.

    Given that 90% of everyone recognised that the existing legislation was flawed, I don’t understand why it was so hurried either. I would’ve thought they could’ve made a lot more progress in 2006 and ended up with a much better outcome for both legislation and public perception.

    But anyhow, personally I don’t think running the 2008 on the 2005 legislation was workable. Not only were there loopholes so big you could drive a several million dollar anonymous campaign through, but there was every expectation that any breaches would never be prosecuted.

    Even if you believe that the existing legislation contained the rules we should have run 2008 on, it needed fixing so it would actually work.

    [That is all aside from my belief that we need to significantly change the rules :]

  26. burt 26

    Anita

    Just for the record, do you believe high value anonymous donations to political parties should be allowed?

    Under the new law they are still allowed, what have Labour got to hide?

  27. Anita 27

    Burt,

    Really? I thought the EFA

    1) restricts an individual to donating no more than $36k in total to a party during the three year election cycle. (Can donate up to $36k each to a number of parties)

    2) restricts parties to receiving no more than $240k in anonymous donations in total during the same period.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/make-protected-donation-form.html

    While I’m replying, want to answer my questions?

    High value anonymous donations? Ok/Not ok

    Lieing about the sources of political party funding? Ok/Not ok

  28. burt 28

    Anita

    Donations should not be restricted, simple as that. The amount a party is allowed to spend on advertising (electioneering) should be tightly controlled, equally. IMHO election policy should announced at a pre-determined date for all contender parties. Equal funding for each party to sell their message. No last minute election bribes would be the single biggest thing I would be concentrating on with re-writing the electoral laws.

    Lieing about their funding source… I’m not a National party supporter so you’ll get no argument from me that IF they did do this. It’s shite., they deserve to be dragged over for it. It’s still not taking away from the issue that Labour seem to be in the honours for cash game which is what the Herald article was about.

  29. It’s still not taking away from the issue that Labour seem to be in the honours for cash game which is what the Herald article was about.

    Sure – bad Labour, caught playing us for suckers again. I certainly wouldn’t vote for ’em. But then, given that the only other party likely to be able to form a govt is guilty of exactly the same bullshit, it doesn’t seem like an issue to go changing the govt on somehow…

  30. burt 30

    Psycho

    Ok, here we go again. 4 year old logic to the rescue. “They did it too – so it’s OK that we did it”.

    NO: It’s not suddenly OK because others are doing it. If I get pulled up speeding can I say that I should be let off because I wasn’t the only person speeding – NO.

    When will the myopic partisan supports of such a low standard of governance understand that it’s not acceptable that the major parties are both self serving abominations of political parties.

  31. Well, it’s not acceptable to me, Burt – I don’t vote for either of them. Generally however, I find the incumbent arseholes slightly less unsavoury than the contender arseholes, so in the matter currently under discussion the question of whether any better performance could be expected by changing the govt seems relevant. The answer is no – no better performance could be expected, in fact worse could be expected.

    So: if we’re simply saying “Fucking Labour, showing themselves up as unscrupulous power-hungry wankers yet again,” as per Idiot/Savant’s blog, well fine. But if we’re seeing Nat activists like Insolent Prick (or Adolf on my own blog) treating it as “Here’s yet another reason you should elect a right-wing govt,” well no – not really. Not at all, in fact.

  32. Kimble 32

    “”I just thought it was a fair request and I did it – I can afford it, I guess,” said Mr Glenn.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10485079

    WOW WOW WOW!

    Did he just say that it was a fair REQUEST?!? So Labour actively goes out of its way to find funding from overseas? Whats wrong with raising money in New Zealand? Why should a domestic party actively canvass for overseas donations, especially of this size?

    Some other gems,

    “He said he made the donation before the last election because he liked … Prime Minister Helen Clark[‘s] … “strong rule”.”

    An authoritarian of the highest order is funding the Labour Party of NZ!

    Just listen to him,

    “I wanted my country to have continuing good stewardship.” He says. But this was immediately after saying,

    “There is nothing I want from New Zealand except a New Zealand passport and the right to come back here and see my friends and family.”

    !!!!

    His country? When all he wants to do is visit here? What right does he have to say this is his country? He holidays in Aruba, I wonder if he claims that is his country too?

    What special right does he have to steer NZ politics in his desired direction with massive political donations? Except the right that Labour had to rush into recent legislation of course.

  33. Amateur Scrabbler 33

    Kimble said: “His country? When all he wants to do is visit here? What right does he have to say this is his country?”

    Well actually if someone was born in Aotearoa then that is a part of his or her whakapapa.

    As opposed to the hired-gun view of nationality – a la Conrad Black, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Fay, etc…

  34. Leftie 34

    In response to Kimble’s latest coment above…..

    Lucky he can comment on Owen Glenn as he has opened up about his donations of the past.

    Lets see National’s backers open up so we can comment on them..

  35. AS:

    Owen Glenn wasn’t born in New Zealand. He didn’t come here until he was 11, and left forty years ago.

  36. Kimble 36

    Nice pwnage of AS, IP.

  37. Amateur Scrabbler 37

    Oh noes. Fair point.

    Has Glenn renounced his citizenship since leaving?

  38. Kimble 38

    “Has Glenn renounced his citizenship since leaving?”

    Nope, but who ever does? And more importantly, what has that got to do with anything?

  39. No he hasn’t, AS. But he’s not registered on the New Zealand electoral roll. Labour’s original Electoral Finance Bill specified that only New Zealand citizens and residents enrolled to vote in New Zealand could make donations to political parties, in order to exclude the likes of Julian Robertson, who owns significant interests and is a major employer in New Zealand, spends a lot of time in New Zealand, and whose company pays New Zealand company tax, from donating to a political party. It was then pointed out that this would also exclude Owen Glenn, who was not born in New Zealand, has not lived in New Zealand for 40 years, and has not paid tax in New Zealand. So Labour changed the Bill to specifically allow Owen Glenn to donate to the Labour Party.

    Of course, this had everything to do with creating transparent electoral law, and nothing to do with stacking electoral law in the Labour Party’s favour.

  40. AncientGeek 40

    As I understand the honours system, it is usually awarded for activities that benefit the community on a voluntary basis. I think that being involved in and contributing 7.5 million to help make a better business school at Auckland Uni certainly qualifies.


    Press

    He has also done a number of other philanthropic activities over the years exerted from:-
    “Owen supports a number of international charities through The Glenn Foundation and helped establish the International SeaKeepers Society. In 2004 Owen donated $500,000 towards the funding of a Chair in Marine Science at The University of Auckland.”

    This was from a couple of minutes using google. Looks to me like he qualifies as contributing to the community that he grew up in.

    Oh and incidentally, he decided to make what looks like a quite public contribution to Labour rather than an anonymous donation to another party.

    Julian Robertson (on google) looks like he runs businesses here and maybe does anonymous contributions to the nats. I can’t see anything that makes me think he should be given a gong here. Maybe in the US where he has been involved in the Clinton Foundation.

    So where in the hell did this discussion about cash for gong’s come from? What in the hell is Fran O’Sullivan on about?

    Since she mentioned the source – Murray MacCully – a self styled strategist for the Nat’s, I’d say the answer becomes pretty obvious. He has always been a bit of a muck-racking dickhead from what I’ve seen about him over the years. But I think that he has really gone over the edge with this one.

  41. So since nobody at the Standard has posted since John A ridiculed himself with this post, let’s recap:

    John A says: Until this admission, Robertson has been best known in New Zealand for his exclusive golf courses at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, both built on prime sea view land and coming with exorbitant green fees.

    It wasn’t an admission from Julian Robertson. It was a line by a reporter in the Herald. Clearly you don’t understand the difference between an admission, and reported information. If I report that you are an asshole, that does not constitute an admission from you that you are an asshole.

    Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers were both built on prime sea view land. They were also built on prime farm land, both previously excluded access to the public. Michael Cullen, as Finance Minister responsible for the Overseas Investment Commission, approved the sale of this land to Julian Robertson. By creating golf courses on this land, Julian Robertson allowed New Zealanders to access this space.

    The Green fees are not exhorbitant. New Zealanders can get around the course for $180 a round. This is comparable to green fees at the Grange, Formosa, or Gulf Harbour.

    Next, you write: “Don Brash was quoted as saying that the notion that Americans were funding National’s campaign a “thundering lie”.

    Brash called Mallard’s claim that National’s campaign was being “financed and run” from the US a thundering lie. This was after Mallard claimed on the eve of the election that National’s policies were being written in Washington. Mallard, like all his preposterous claims, never produced any evidence. I’m a bit surprised, given Mallard’s recent downfall for muck-raking once too often, that the Standard relies on a discredited claim from two years ago to make a point. But good on you. If that’s all you’ve got to cling to, then go for it.

    Finally, you assert: “It’s no wonder that the Herald thinks that hidden money doesn’t matter in elections when they just take the National Party feed – their 2005 story ran straight along the Long lines.”

    Oh, brilliant. Now you’re saying not only is the Herald stacking its opinion against Labour, and in favour of the National Party, but it has been doing so for years. Good luck winning the election by attacking the media. Yes, that tactic always works.

  42. burt 42

    IP

    I think the standard is stuck between a rock and a hellengrad place at the moment. All the types of posts they made last year probably break the law this year and without the ability to run personal attacks they are left silent. I’m sure they will publish some good knitting patterns or scone recipes soon. Good on the EFB – shut down the free speech of the standard….

  43. Oliver 44

    Excellent work putting this out there to you guys at the Standards!

    Absolutely damning for National, and something people need to keep blogging and talking about with their friends to make sure that people know that while Labour did receive overseas money (which is, in my books, not a good thing), National receives far more from far shadier sources.

  44. Kimble 45

    “National receives far more from far shadier sources.”

    OK, Oliver, show us where it is confirmed that National recieves more money than Labour from overseas sources. After that, show us where it has been proven that JR even contributed money last election. After that show us how JR can be described as shady.

    Typical Labour supporter; all slander, no substance.

    Dog whistle blogging at its best at The Stantard. You make unfounded accusations based on the flimsiest of proof (if it can be called proof rather than simply an unfounded accusation from a different source) and twits like Oliver turn up to fellate you, call it “absolutely damning for National” and perpetuate the myth.

  45. Maybe Oliver could show us those things – after National shows us its donors. Until then, he can speculate as freely as he likes.

  46. Kimble 47

    Speculate, Milt? He is talking about spreading unfounded rumours and lies. Not one shred of proof.

    I thought you had higher standards than that.

  47. burt 48

    Oliver

    Absolutely damning for National, and something people need to keep blogging and talking about with their friends to make sure that people know that while Labour did receive overseas money (which is, in my books, not a good thing), National receives far more from far shadier sources.

    Kust like a 4 year old kid with chocolate smeared all over his face pointing at his 4 year old mate shouting “He stole chocolate too” when caught eating the chocolate he was told not to eat…..

    Oliver, simply because National did something similar (possibly worse, possibly not) it’s no excuse for what Labour have done. Labour need to be judged on what they did – National on what they did – not compared to each other so we can say “Other did it too – move on”.

    Next time I’m caught speeding I’ll try the “other did it too” defense and see how far it gets me – since I’m not a Labour MP I’m picking I’ll still get the ticket – what do you think ?

  48. “I thought you had higher standards than that.”

    Nope. National hides its funding sources. Can’t think of any good reasons why they’d do that, so I’ll happily speculate about what the likely reasons are. They can of course clear the matter up at any time simply by not hiding their sources of funding. Seems eminently reasonable to me.

  49. Matthew Pilott 50

    Nice pwnage of AS, IP.

    You make unfounded accusations based on the flimsiest of proof (if it can be called proof rather than simply an unfounded accusation from a different source) and twits like Oliver turn up to fellate you

    I know which was the bigger BJ on this thread, Kimble 😉

  50. Phil 51

    Psycho,

    You’re clearly not very smart if you can’t think of any good reason why a political party would choose not to publish it’s list of donors.

    In case you haven’t noticed, there is a bit of a witch-hunt going on for evil capitalist villains subverting the course of democracy, so if I, as an individual, choose to donate money to a political party, I don’t want my name up in lights with bloggers of a certain ilk persecuting me.

    Or to put it more bluntly; Its-my-money-and-I’ll-do-with-it-what-I-damn-well-please-without-you-knowing-about-it-fuck-you-very-much.

  51. Matthew Pilott 52

    Or to put it even more bluntly, I-want-to-rent-a-politician-and-National’s-whoring-themselves-at-a-good-rate-but-I-don’t-want-everyone-to-know…

  52. Matthew Pilott 53

    Phil, seriously though, when a fund is being assembled to donate upwards of $1.5 million to a political party, are you incapable of imagining why those contributing might not want their names known, apart from that people might write blog posts about them?

    You really think that’s it?

    Really?

    No shit?

    Alright then.

    That’s kind of strange but there you go…

  53. Kimble 54

    Well why would Labour have to worry about people knowing who its donors are?

    A wealthy foreign billionaire with few links to New Zealand donates a single massive amount to the party and then recieves an Honour from “New Zealand”.

    They get a free pass from their accolytes.

    Labour can do anything it likes, be as hypocritical as it likes, be as corrupt as it likes, and it gets a free pass from the Stantards.

    Nicky Hager writes a book about a dream he had once about National thinking about setting up and initial meeting to discuss the accusation that they have done anything remotely unethical and you lot claim it is as conclusive as a YouTube confession from John Key.

    National cant win. If it releases a list of all its donors (perhaps reneging on a promise of anonymity) you can bet your bottom dollar that the names and reputation of those that donated would be drawn through the mud and slandered to death.

    If they dont release a list, people will simply invent corruption to believe in.

  54. Matthew Pilott 55

    The only reason National won’t ‘win’ is if the people who are donatinng large amount of money have views or practices that are against what the voting public believe in, that’s what it comes down to.

    If they are the ‘capitalist villians’ that Phil has mentioned, voters would wonder if their intentions coincide with those of National’s backers, and if not, why not?

    It is also legitimate to ask why those donations are made and what the donors expect to get out of it. When they are anonymous, one will also logically question why this is the case – you don’t need to ‘invent’ corruption tales.

    Insightful that you completely igonre the voting oublic in your analysis though.

    P.s. I think you are a little confused, the single massive amount was donated to a business school, hence “for services to business and the community”; I can only take it that you are being subtly ironic here by misconstruing the nature of Glenn’s honour 😉

  55. Kimble 56

    “The only reason National won’t ‘win’ is if the people who are donatinng large amount of money have views or practices that are against what the voting public believe in, that’s what it comes down to.”

    Bullshit. If that is the ONLY reason you can think of, then you dont have the capacity to participate in a grown up discussion.

    It doesnt matter what National does they and their supporters will always be slandered by your lot.

    I am not going to defend future anonymous donations, as I dont believe in them myself and was very disappointed when Labour rejigged the rules to allow them to continue. But that doesnt mean I think that past donations, made under rules that allowed anonymity, should be made public.

    National cant win with you ideologues. If National recieves donations from people that agree with their policies you simply wont accept that the donators aren’t “buying” the policies.

    You never apply the same rule to Labour.

    Labour good, National bad. Even if they are doing exactly the same thing, Labour does it for good reasons, National does it for bad reasons.

  56. Anita 57

    Kimble,

    If National (or Labour) knew who their past “anonymous” donations were from then that information should be made public.

    The anonymous donation rules were (and are) pretty explicit about the fact it must actually be anonymous, so the party mustn’t know who the donations are from – preventing them from being influenced by the donor.

    If they did know, and therefore could be influenced, then the public has a right to know what National (or Labour) knew. (I suspect we’re past time for a prosecution).

    Anita (who personally supports a very low cap for anonymous donations)

  57. Phil 58

    If I may, I’d like to tell a little story…

    Back in my day’s as a misguided Uni student, I joined the Canterbury/Westland Young Nats – I confess that at the time my choice of political party to join was more down to the stunning red-headed girl sitting behind the table, more than the actual party values… but I digress.

    Anyway, after a little while I took over the role of “Treasurer” (A mainly honorary title with little real work involved) and added it to my CV, thinking that it showed a willingness to take on extra responsibility, and all that other garbage prospective employers like to hear from young graduates with no real work experience.

    Without fail, EVERY recuitment company I sent my CV to encouraged me to remove the refernce to that role.

    Their reasoning?
    There would be some employers who’s judgement would be clouded on my potential as a candidate, purely because I had a different political view to them, and not because of my relevant skills or qualifications. I was, in effect, reducing my “hire-ability”

    It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that in a small country like NZ, a business owner who publicly donates a significant sum of money to a cause they believe in, could put their business at risk if some of their customers/suppliers/associates hold a different political view. As such, they would be most eager to retain the confidentiality of their donation

  58. Anita 59

    Phil,

    There is a huge difference between donating a few hours or a few dollars to a party and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    There’s an equally huge difference between a genuinely anonymous donation and one where the party knows but none of the voters do.

    I agree it’s sometimes embarrassing or awkward to wear ones political views on ones sleeve, but that’s a choice people get to make, and perhaps if we had a culture of political openness that would change. Voters knowing who’s bankrolling political parties is a fundamental part of transparency, without which democracy just won’t work.

    Anita

  59. So, one’s fellow businessmen, company directors etc might be horrified to discover one supports National? You’re going to have to forgive a certain level of skepticism here, Phil.

    Kimble said: National cant win with you ideologues. If National recieves donations from people that agree with their policies you simply wont accept that the donators aren’t “buying” the policies.

    You never apply the same rule to Labour.

    Don’t we? For my part, I’m well aware of the fact that workers donate money to Labour through their unions because they expect to get more from Labour than National. And that’s no big deal, because I and everyone else can see those donations publicly declared, and National Party activists can then bitch about them on their blogs.

    Likewise, I’m well aware that NZ’s business leaders put money into National because they’re likely to get more from National than from Labour. And that’s no big deal, because… er, no, hang on, actually it is a big deal, because those donations aren’t publicly declared. I and the rest of the public can’t see who’s paying what. Even worse, the benefits for business leaders from a National govt tend to be more direct at an individual level, unlike the benefits workers can expect to see out of a Labour govt. So, we’ll just bitch about them on our blogs anyway, and always assume the worst.

    Bottom line: real easy for National to avoid the speculation – just publicly declare the donations.

  60. Matthew Pilott 61

    Psycho Milt, I suspect this is an excercise in futility. Kimble is only arguing against people in the bolgosphere. I suspect his horizons are somewhat limited. I tried to remove the debate frum such a restrictive point of view by mentioning people who count (i.e. those people who may or may not vote National) and he replies with

    It doesnt matter what National does they and their supporters will always be slandered by your lot.

    and

    National cant win with you ideologues. If National recieves donations from people that agree with their policies you simply wont accept that the donators aren’t “buying” the policies.

    as if trying to win against “us people” is the point of the excercise. The point is whether the general public would react favourably to knowledge of who National’s supporters are. I for one, suspect not. At least I’m willing to consider the issue.

    Since when have I had my ‘lot’ Kimble? There’s probably a pretty diverse bunch out there, although I can see your problem – if you’re so buried in the blogosphere, all you see is names and ideas, arguments. I can see how you find it so easy to myopically stereotype and categorise until anyone who disagrees with you is ‘your lot’, ‘you ideologues’ and ‘typical Labour…’.

    Get out sometime eh?

  61. Michele Cabiling 62

    What of the ongoing myriad of undeclared ways in which Labour receives election funding that nobody on this blog appears to have engaged with?

    Some examples below:

    1. Despite the Electoran Finance Act, government departments remain at liberty to spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns highlighting the “services” they provide, which coincidentally happens to be puffery for Labour Government policy right on election time. CEOs are at the command of their various Ministers and not at liberty to refuse to do this.

    2. Labour misuses the public purse to fund “trade union education” (remembering that Lenin described trade unions as: “a school of administration, a school of economic management, a
    school of communism”) to the tune of millions of dollars per annum.

    While some of this money is undoubtedly applied towards “educational” purposes, large sums are funelled back into Labour Party election campaigns as “donations” from the various trade unions. Not only is this a scammy taxpayer-funded money-go-round, but trade union members who support other parties have no say in the fact that their union is financially contributing to a party and policies they may well find personally repugnant.

    3. Free labour and materials. Having erected election hoardings for both National and ACT in my time, I can attest to the fact that National and ACT rely on volunteers from local electorate committees that raise their own funds to pay for korflutes and wood for the billboards. This is faithfully reported as part of the candidate spending cap.

    Labour, on the other hand, benefits financially from the fact that the various trade unions turn out members every election en masse to erect Labour Party hoardings. I have personally spoken to union members who have bragged about the labour, union vehicles, petrol, wood and korflutes provided by their union to the Labour Party cause, and the fact that these are under-the-radar donations.

    The hypocrisy in Labour’s bashing National of Party sources of funding is startling!

    Anyone should be able to spend as much as they want of their own money in donating to the political cause of their choice, whether publicly or anonomously. Similarly, as many private individuals so inclined should be able to donate their labour towards their preferred electoral outcome.

    This is the only position consistent with a FREE as opposed to a STATIST society, and rules out forcibly co-opting taxpayers’ or union members’ money pro forma to support partisan political causes.

  62. Phil 63

    It may come as a surprise to you Psycho, that not all CEO’s/MD’s are National Party supporters. Additionally, a great deal of small business people swing either way come election time.

    You may want to skip this part, for fear of having a stroke, but…
    …. some single mothers vote National.

  63. Phil, the fact that you can’t generalise about the way any particular individual will vote doesn’t preclude generalising about the way entire categories of people are more likely to vote.

    Michele Cabiling: do fill us in on how contestable govt money bid for and won by unions gets funnelled to the Labour Party. It certainly would be a criminal scam if they were doing it, but it would also be a pretty damn clever one, given that they have to spend those contestable funds on the projects they bid for.

    Do tell us also, how exactly an ACT member putting up billboards is a “volunteer” but a union member isn’t. I anticipate hilarity ahead.

  64. Anita 65

    Michele,

    Your first category gives me a huge headache.

    A quick first point though, CEOs are totally at liberty to refuse to run politically motivated advertising campaigns. And by far the majority absolutely would.

    Anyhow, pn the one hand people do actually need to know what services there are available to them, on the other, without some oversight/control it smells a little bad 🙂

    I guess one of the things that makes it more confusing is that only some of the government advertising could reasonably seen to influence voter behaviour. For example the fire service will run “check your smoke alarm batteries when you put your clocks forward” ads late this year, and no-one (well nearly no-one? 🙂 is going to have their voting behaviour influenced by it.

    Other things will influence voter behaviour in peculiar ways – ads about scholarships for people training to be technology teachers might make some people pro-government cos it’s forward looking or about funding them or a close family member to study. Others will be anti-government because they’ll see it as a consequence of the number of NZers leaving with their qualifications.

    So I guess what I’d like to see is some kind of guidelines and oversight by some relatively neutral and well respected organisation – OAG springs to mind :). Perhaps even vetting ad campaigns over a certain value run close to the election.

    Finally, this isn’t because I think the public service advertising is politically motivate. It’s because the public service needs to be seen to be scrupulously politically neutral, and some independant oversight to help them with it would be a great thing.

  65. Kimble 66

    PM,

    “I’m well aware that NZ’s business leaders put money into National because they’re likely to get more from National than from Labour. And that’s no big deal…”

    If it doesnt matter who donates to National, then it doesnt matter that you dont know who donates to National.

    Unless of course you think it DOES matter who donates to National. Then you would want to know who it was.

    Bottom Line: It doesnt matter what National discloses, those speculating now, will just speculate about something else. And if there is no basis for speculation, well, they will just make something up.

  66. dad4justice 67

    The lefty twits are a gormless bunch, whose only friends are untruth and spiteful deception . They are always cowards and run when confronted by honesty . They enjoy – secret behind closed doors meetings, because they are masters of the slimy spin doctors and information gathering snakes.They are a parasitic sub species from the family of socialist skunks, who can be normally found lurking around rubbish tips or public toilets, and usually have a name like psycho, gnomer, nih, or idiot .They have a distressing condition as they feed from corruption and misery .
    These communist cockroaches hate freedom of expression and they still use ironclad methods for handling critics.

  67. r0b 68

    d4j – be at peace eh? Try to give your anger a rest through the quiet weeks of the break.

    I’m back from camping, and soon away tramping. I highly recommend some time spent in the great outdoors (not hunting – no guns). The mountains don’t care about politics. The rivers don’t care about our squabbles. The sun will shine no matter who wins the next election.

  68. …they still use ironclad methods for handling critics.

    I know you and Redbaiter have a great deal of trouble understanding this concept Dad4Justice, but a string of unsupported assertions about my character is not “criticism,” it’s simply abuse. There is a difference, and you’ll figure it out what it is if you think hard enough, I’m sure.

  69. Michele Cabiling 70

    Sucko Milt wrote:

    “Do tell us also, how exactly an ACT member putting up billboards is a “volunteer” but a union member isn’t. I anticipate hilarity ahead.”

    The ACT and National members putting up billboards raise and spend their own funds within the electorate they belong to.

    The union members erecting election hoardings for Labour are turned out by their union to do this. They use union vehicles to transport hoarding materials. The materials are purchased with funds diverted from members’ union dues (including those who don’t vote Labour).

    If you accept that what amounts to pro forma invoicing in favour of a partisan political cause is appropriate then someone must have stepped on the air hose to your brain.

    As well, the union-donated hoarding materials and organised labour to erect them are never reported within the $20, 000.00 electorate spending cap.

    If National or ACT was identified as getting away with such scammy behaviour one can only imagine the extent of the leftard hissy fit.

    But the standard leftard mentality is that the glorious cause is everything, and the end justified the means. Personal morality or moral consistency is therefore never big with leftards except when it comes to the opposition.

    Opponents are always held to standards that leftards are unprepared to apply to their own behaviour.

  70. burt 71

    So….

    Here might be the reason why “the standard” has gone quiet….

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/01/herald_on_effects_of_electoral_finance_act.html#comment-391535

    Ominously it also seems that another unintended consequence has raised its head, that of the possibility that the “blog” regulations only cover single author blogs. That multiple author blogs are illegal unless they carry authorisation.

    And here was me believing the anon authors of the standard when they said the EFB wouldn’t have any effect on them…. ha ha ha.

  71. In that case, the Electoral Commissioner may find himself getting told where he can stick by No Minister as well – er, more than he was anyway, I mean.

    Anyhoo, onto the interesting question of how ACT and National members are volunteers but union members aren’t:

    The union members erecting election hoardings for Labour are turned out by their union to do this.

    Kind of like the army, huh? That’s why us union members all wear the uniform and sleep in the barracks of course, it makes it easier for our oppressive Union Bosses to “turn us out” as an unpaid workforce for Labour.

    Seriously, are you on P or something? If my union wanted me to turn up and work unpaid for a Labour victory, its representatives would be treated to some unusually offensive profanity. If union members do stir themselves to assist Labour, it’s because they are, well duh-uh, volunteers.

    They use union vehicles to transport hoarding materials.

    If only these union jackals would emulate the honourable behaviour of ACT and National members, who would never dream of using a company vehicle to transport hoarding materials!

    The materials are purchased with funds diverted from members’ union dues (including those who don’t vote Labour).

    It’s shocking, isn’t it? Those filthy union members, spending their own money like that! Now, maybe you’re like Redbaiter Michele, and don’t know what a society actually is. Perhaps it would help if you considered it in terms of a public limited company. The shareholders in the company hold a meeting, and a course of action is proposed. Some of the shareholders support this course of action, others are opposed. A vote is held, and the proposed course of action gets the majority vote. Oh, the humanity! Those minority shareholders, what will happen to them? Their money has been ruthlessly appropriated by the company for ends they didn’t vote for! Won’t someone step in and end this corrupt collectivism! But of course, when the wailing and gnashing of teeth is over, a vote was taken. Accept the vote or withdraw your membership. In other words, funds are not “diverted” from members’ union dues, they’re directed to that specific purpose by members’ vote. If you have a problem with democracy, you’re really living in the wrong country.

    As well, the union-donated hoarding materials and organised labour to erect them are never reported within the $20, 000.00 electorate spending cap.

    And the auditors somehow never pick it up. They’re in on it too, right?

    But the standard leftard mentality is that the glorious cause is everything, blah blah blah.

    I’m sorry, you seem to have confused us with Mao’s peasant army ca 1948.

  72. burt 73

    Psycho Milt

    In that case, the Electoral Commissioner may find himself getting told where he can stick…

    Telling the Electoral Commissioner where he can stick it will be an admission that their free speech has been restricted, something that No Minister acknowledges but the standard staunchly denies….

    Time will tell I guess…

  73. Michele Cabiling 74

    Sucko Milt claims that all union expenditure is put the a members’ vote. That’s crap. The way it works is the constitution of the union will say that the union supports the Labour Party in principle as the self-designated party of the workers. This will justify the union donating members’ money to the Labour Party without further recourse to members’ vote.

    The non-Labour voters who probably joined the union because they don’t feel confident about negotiating their own employment contract are being pro-forma invoiced into supporting this government of fruits and nuts.

  74. The union is the members, dumb-ass. It is and does what the members want it to be and do. At any one time, a minority of members probably won’t like what it’s doing, but that’s the price of forming a collective – whether as a public limited company or a union. Hell, a country, for that matter: by the end of next year, a National/ACT coalition may well be spending my hard-earned tax dollars on things I don’t like, without asking me, and I won’t even have voted for them. Oh, who will stop this criminal behaviour?! Who will destroy this iniquity called “society?!”

  75. dad4justice 76

    What a load of shit psycho, as I when I was in the meat workers union I did no agree with our officials going on union funded trips to Russia !! Ouch that hurt the communist liarbour party snakes !!

  76. Robinsod 77

    Dad, you’re a fool. Trips to Russia were generally paid for by the USSR – they were communist PR events. If you’d joined the SUP I’m sure you could’ve scored a trip over too (just like Lee Harvey Oswald – somehow that seems fitting)

  77. Michele Cabiling 78

    Where the hell are the rest of the posts on this topic?

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